South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
02 Nov 2021
The World Health Organization, (WHO) and the UN regional commissions, in cooperation with other partners in the UN Road Safety Collaboration, have developed a Global Plan for the Decade of Action, which was also published at the same time.

WHO says globally more than 3,500 people die every day on the roads, which amounts to nearly 1.3 million preventable deaths and an estimated 50 million injuries each year – making road deaths the leading killer of children and young people worldwide.

As things stand, road collisions are set to cause a further estimated 13 million deaths and 500 million injuries during the next decade, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. WHO describes these as ‘unacceptable numbers, both in absolute and relative terms’.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said: “The loss of lives and livelihoods, the disabilities caused, the grief and pain, and the financial costs caused by road traffic crashes add up to an intolerable toll on families, communities, societies and health systems.

“So much of this suffering is preventable, by making roads and vehicles safer, and by promoting safe walking, cycling and greater use of public transport.

“The Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety lays out the practical, evidence-based steps all countries and communities can take to save lives.”

The Global Plan describes the actions required to achieve the 50% target, including: accelerated action to make walking, cycling and using public transport safe, as they are also healthier and greener modes of transport; ensuring safe roads, vehicles and behaviours; and guaranteeing timely and effective emergency care.

The Plan outlines recommended actions drawn from proven and effective interventions, as well as best practices for preventing road trauma. WHO says it is intended to be used as a blueprint to inform and inspire national and local plans that are tailored to local contexts, available resources and capacity.

It is aimed at senior policy-makers and other stakeholders who can influence road safety including civil society, academia, the private sector and community and youth leaders.

Dr Etienne Krug, director of WHO’s Department of the Social Determinants of Health, concluded: “More than 50 million people have died on the world’s roads since the invention of the automobile.

“This is more than the number of deaths in World War One or some of the worst epidemics.

“It is time to put in action what we know works and shift to a much safer and healthier mode of transport. This new plan will lead countries onto a more sustainable path.”