Message from the Secretary General – May 2015
May opens with UN Road Safety Week 2015. This is the Third UN Road Safety Week and is focusing on children, who are among the most vulnerable road users.
Introducing the initiative, the UN says, “Around 186,300 children under 18 years die from road traffic crashes annually, and rates of road traffic death are three times higher in developing countries than in developed countries. The Third UN Global Road Safety Week – #SaveKidsLives – seeks to highlight the plight of children on the world’s roads and generate action to better ensure their safety. The Week features hundreds of events hosted by governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, and private companies, including the delivery of the “Child Declaration for Road Safety” to policy-makers. These events highlight the World Health Organisation’s package of ten key strategies for keeping children safe on the road.”
The UN has laid out a 10 point strategy for improving road safety outcomes, which is key given that road accidents are the top cause of death for 15-17 year olds. Low and middle income countries are also more prone to see this sort of tragedy on their roads.
The European automobile industry is committed to doing its part to help reduce the toll that its vehicles play on the roads, so ACEA fully supports the 10-point strategy developed by the UN to address children’s safety on the roads. The points are:
- Controlling speed
- Reducing drinking and driving
- Using helmets for bicyclists and motorcyclists
- Restraining children in vehicles
- Improving children’s ability to see and be seen
- Enhancing road infrastructure
- Adapting vehicle design
- Reducing risks for young drivers
- Providing appropriate care for injured children
- Supervising children around roads
This 10 point strategy is a clear example of the integrated approach to road safety that ACEA has long advocated. Further reductions in road accidents and deaths will only be achievable if all stakeholders work together to implement the actions needed.