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Directions in Highway Safety Cover - Summer 2011 Download Newsletter pdf
[2 MB, 12 pgs.]

Summer 2011 | Vol. 13 | No. 2

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Global Road Safety Among CDC’s Top 10 Public Health Achievements

CDC has named “Increased Awareness and Response for Improving Global Road Safety” as one of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements - Worldwide, 2001-2010. To develop the list, CDC asked global public health experts to nominate significant public health accomplishments that occurred outside of the U.S. during the first decade of this century. The list was published as part of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

On the topic of global road safety, the CDC notes that the safety community has made substantial headway in instituting a global approach to combating the impact of road traffic injuries. The report specifically commends the World Health Organization (WHO) five-year plan to improve global road safety, launched in 2001, as well the WHO’s and World Bank’s 2004 World Report on Traffic Injury Prevention.

It also cites the Commission for Global Road Safety’s 2006 and 2010 recommendations which helped raise awareness of the issue and led to the United Nations General Assembly resolution proclaiming 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety.

While the CDC acknowledges the significant 36 percent decline in traffic fatalities in the European Union from 2001 to 2009, it notes that each year traffic-related crashes continue to kill 1.3 million people worldwide. This number is expected to double by 2030, with low- and middle-income countries projected to bear the brunt of the increased fatalities.

Decade of Action for Road Safety Tag

The UN-established Decade of Action for Road Safety seeks to stabilize and then reduce this dire forecast of road traffic fatalities around the world by 2020. Achievement of this goal could save five million lives and $3 trillion and prevent 50 million serious injuries over the course of the decade. Key elements toward reaching this goal are: improved road and vehicle design; speed control; seat belt and helmet use; improved public transport; reduced alcohol-impaired driving; and more effective injury response.

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