[1.4 MB, 12 pgs.]
Spring 2011 | Vol. 13 | No. 1
UN Decade of Action for Road Safety begins May 11, 2011!
By Bella Dinh-Zarr, PhD, MPH
North American Director, MAKE ROADS SAFE CAMPAIGN FOR GLOBAL ROAD SAFETY
Road Safety Director, FIA FOUNDATION
The United Nations has unanimously proclaimed 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, making traffic crashes an international priority on the level of health threats such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. With this type of designation, we hope traffic-related deaths and injuries can begin receiving the attention they deserve as major threats to our well-being – both at home and around the world. And it all starts on May 11, 2011.
Currently, there are nearly 1.3 million roadway deaths and more than 50 million serious injuries a year worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2030, traffic related injuries will be the 5th leading cause of death worldwide. More people will die on the roads than will die of HIV/AIDS.
It is also estimated that we will lose 5 million more people and another 50 million will suffer debilitating injuries in the next decade. But we can do something about this! If we start implementing the many interventions that we already know, such as building safer cars and roads, passing good traffic safety laws, and promoting strong education and enforcement – a Safe Systems Approach involving the road, the vehicle, and the user – we can build a safety culture and have a huge effect on future deaths. The Safe Systems approach is also the basis of the international UN Decade of Action ‘Five Pillar’ Plan:
- Building Management Capacity
- Encouraging Safer User Behavior
- Building Safer Roads
- Building Safer Vehicles
- Improving Post Crash Care
The Road Safety ‘Tag’
The Road Safety Tag is the official global symbol for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and represents our commitment to making our roads safe. The Tag will be a focal point of the launch of the Decade of Action, which will take place around the world on May 11, 2011.
You Are Part of a Worldwide Effort to Make Roads Safe
You are already a part of the Decade of Action! GHSA, AASHTO, NOYS, ITE, ATSSA, NAWHSL, and other partners were instrumental in urging the UN to make traffic safety a priority. The Toward Zero Deaths campaign is a major U.S. contribution to the Decade of Action.
How Can We Participate?
- Go to www.decadeofaction.org to register your office or organization as a Decade partner and download the free Road Safety Tag free. Display the Tag often on your materials and websites to show you are an important part of the worldwide effort.
- Plan an inclusive event on May 11, 2011, and commit to the Toward Zero Deaths initiatives. There will be events from New Zealand to Mexico and everywhere in between – be a part of it!
- Check back often at www.decadeofaction.org for more materials you can use.
- Wear a Road Safety Tag yourself (you will be in good company – with President Clinton, Secretary Mineta, Secretary LaHood, Mayor Bloomberg, and others).
- Ask your mayor, governor, and other well-known people in your community to wear the Tag to show their support for preventing traffic-related deaths and injuries.
The Decade of Action for Road Safety is our opportunity to commit to making our communities safer where we live – and to show our concern for others suffering around the world. Please join us! www.decadeofaction.org.
For more information, please contact: Bella Dinh-Zarr at email@example.com.