Global road traffic mortality falling

Road traffic deaths have fallen since 2010, but are still a significant global crisis, a major report says today.

The report, published by the World Health Organization, states that, since 2010, road traffic deaths have fallen by 5% to 1.19 million per year.

But the figure still stands at over two deaths occurring each minute, that is, more than 3,200 each day.

“Road traffic crashes remain the leading killer of children and youth aged five to 29 years,” the authors write, “with pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users facing an acute and rising risk of death”.

Of the 193 UN Member States, 108 countries reported a drop in such fatalities, with ten countries reducing the number by more than 50%.

Rates remain highest in the South-East Asia region, the Western Pacific region, and the African Region.

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has commented on the report.

He said: “The tragic tally of road crash deaths is heading in the right direction, downwards, but nowhere near fast enough. The carnage on our roads is preventable.

“We call on all countries to put people rather than cars at the centre of their transport systems, and ensure the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.”

Michael Bloomberg, WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, commented: “For more than a decade now, we’ve made encouraging progress together with the World Health Organization and our partners.

“Still, as this new report makes clear, road safety demands stronger commitments from governments worldwide – and we’ll continue to urge more leaders to take lifesaving action.”

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