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Road accidents cause 1.3 million annual deaths worldwide

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
Road accidents cause 1.3 million annual deaths worldwide
The plan is a key part of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 and was discussed on Friday at an event supporting the High-Level Meeting on Global Road Safety at the General Assembly in New York.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Road accidents are still responsible for 1.3 million annual deaths and 50 million injuries all over the world, but the United Nations is pushing for a global plan for road safety.

The plan is a key part of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 and was discussed on Friday at an event supporting the High-Level Meeting on Global Road Safety at the General Assembly in New York.

UN General Assembly president Abdulla Shahid, who opened the discussion, said the world needs to address this “unnecessary and tragic burden on families, communities and economies.”

“Road accidents are entirely preventable, and our priority must be exactly that – to implement preventive measures,” Shahid said.

He highlighted the importance of the Global Plan, but warned that “unless it is implemented, it is nothing more than a plan of action.”

The implementation by national and local governments, according to Shahid will require two main elements: financing and the engagement of relevant actors.

With a notable funding gap in most countries, 90 percent of road deaths happen in low- and middle-income countries.

This means that achieving the targets will require increased support to these countries, according to Shahid.

Road traffic crashes are also the leading killer of children and young people worldwide, aged five to 29.

As things stand, they are set to cause a further estimated 13 million deaths and 500 million injuries during the next decade.

Shahid invited member states, civil societies and the international community to use these exchanges “as an opportunity to build collective commitments and strengthened partnerships.”

“Global road safety is a shared responsibility that must be prioritized and integrated,” he said.

He added that achieving safety would contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals under education, health and the environment, among others.

The high?level meeting on the topic will be held in July next year, under the theme, “The 2030 horizon for road safety: securing a decade of action and delivery.”

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