Global road safety week is April 23 to 29

The week, which will focus on young road users, “is an historic opportunity to raise the issue of road traffic injuries to a higher level,” the Global Road Safety Week website says.

The website notes that at least 40% of all road traffic deaths occur among people aged 0–25 years.

Hundreds of initiatives – local, national, regional and global – are expected to take place around the world during the week but the “key global event” is the World Youth Assembly for Road Safety, which will gather delegations of young people from many countries to discuss and adopt a youth declaration on road safety and define ways to better serve as road safety advocates in their countries.

In his message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it is fortunate that there is now a “growing recognition that road traffic injuries can be prevented.”

“A number of countries have shown that by taking action on drink-driving, speeding, use of helmets and seat-belts, and increasing the visibility of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, a significant number of lives can be saved and resources spared, even as motorization continues to rise. The United Nations Road Safety Collaboration has addressed these issues as priorities,” he said.

Ban Ki-moon acknowledged that prevention measures require political will and financial investments in efforts targeting young people and that decisions to improve road safety need to be made at the highest levels of Government.

“Beyond government ministries of transport, health and education, many others have a role to play: parents and guardians, educators, community and business leaders, automobile associations, insurers and vehicle manufacturers, celebrities and the media, survivors of road traffic crashes and their families, “ he said.

Organizers of the safety week prepared posters for anyone to download from http://www.who.int/roadsafety/week/resources/posters/en/index.html, focusing on the five issues Ban Ki-moon said were “priorities.”

All posters show a person in the middle of the road, with tire marks running over his/her body or head, depending on the focus of the message.

The poster on seatbelt use says “Too late to fasten your seat-belt” and reminds the reader that wearing a seat-belt “reduces the risk of being ejected from a vehicle and suffering serious or fatal injury by between 40%-65%.”

The poster ends with a message on being part of the solution. “Be part of the solution: wear a seat-belt.”

On drinking alcohol, the poster says, “Too late to stop drinking” and reminds the reader that consuming alcohol before driving increases the risk of a crash as well as the likelihood that death or serious injury will result.

“Passing a drink–driving law and enforcing it can reduce the number of road deaths by 20%,” it says.

Be part of the solution: never drink and drive,” the poster says.

Another poster says “Too late to be seen” and shows a person wearing black. “Pedestrians and cyclists can be difficult to see on the roads, which increases their risk of road traffic injuries. Wearing lightly-coloured or reflective clothing makes them much more visible and can help avoid collisions. Be part of the solution: be seen on the road,” the poster reads.

On the use of crash helmet, which many motorcycle drivers and riders in the Philippines ignore,  a poster best for them is “|Too late to put on your helmet.”

Most motorcycle deaths are a result of head injuries. Wearing a motorcycle helmet correctly can cut the risk of death by almost 40%, and the risk of severe injury by 70%.
Be part of the solution: wear a helmet,” the poster says.

Too late to slow down,” says another poster. “Speed kills all types of road users – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. A 5% cut in average speed can reduce the number of fatal crashes by as much as 30%. Be part of the solution: don't speed,” the poster reads.

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