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UN chief lends support to global Road Safety Decade

UN chief lends support to global Road Safety Decade

Half of road fatalities each year are pedestrians, bicyclists, and people on motorcycles
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took a further step in the campaign to improve road safety today, meeting with Oman’s Ambassador to the United Nations, who has sponsored several General Assembly resolutions on a scourge that kills one person about every 25 seconds.

“All of us can play a part in increasing safety and promoting sustainable transport,” Mr. Ban told Mr. Al-Hinai, lending his support to the forthcoming Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) to be launched on 11 May. “Millions of lives can be saved if we work together for real action on every highway and every street in every community.”

He noted that every day, almost 3,500 people lose their lives on the world’s roads, 85 per cent of them in low- and middle-income countries, making road safety a growing public health crisis as well as a hindrance to economic and social development.

To help raise global awareness, Mr. Ban was photographed wearing a yellow road safety tag bearing the slogan “Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.”

An estimated 1.3 million people die on the world's roads every year with around 50 million injured or disabled by accidents, which cost countries up to 4 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) yearly.

In a message marking the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims last month, Mr. Ban said many tragedies could be avoided “through a set of proven, simple measures that benefit not only individuals and families but society at large.”