The World Health Organization has launched a campaign to reduce millions of road traffic deaths and injuries by at least half by 2030, following the adoption of the Decade of Action for Road Safety by the United Nations General Assembly in August 2020.
Since the invention of the automobile by German entrepreneur Karl Benz in 1886, more than 50 million people have died in road traffic accidents. Today, the World Health Organization reports that more than 3,500 people die in road traffic accidents every day, which equates to almost 1.3 million deaths and about 50 people. a million injuries every year.
WHO cites road traffic injuries as the leading cause of death for children and young people aged 5 to 29 worldwide. Etienne Krug, director of the WHO Department of Social Determinants, said most of these deaths and injuries are preventable.
He said that getting people out of cars and switching to safer and healthier modes of transport is central to the UN’s Global Plan to Reduce Road Accidents and Save Lives.
“Move away from the car transportation system to more walking, cycling and public transportation. And for that, we have to make it safe. The plan also calls for the involvement of more young people. As I said, this is the main cause of death of young people, which gives them a big role in shaping the new wave of transport. And a more significant role for the private sector, ”he said.
The circle said the private sector is important because of its responsibility for the safety of the vehicles it produces. The large number of used cars exported by rich countries to developing countries is a serious source of danger, he said.
“Used cars that do not meet safety standards, which are either sold in these countries, or imported from other countries that no longer need them. Therefore, regulation of used car exports and imports, on the other hand, is a very important part of improving safety on our roads, ”he said.
A report from the United Nations Environment Program last year found that between 2015 and 2018, about 14 million low-quality, highly polluting old cars were exported from Europe, Japan and the United States. countries, with more than half in Africa.
If all goes well, the World Health Organization is warning an estimated 13 million deaths and 500 million injuries over the next decade. Most of these preventable deaths and injuries will occur in low- and middle-income countries, he said.