Honor road victims by making roads safer: Guterres

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Every year, 1.3 million people die in road accidents and 50 million more are injuredhe said, making this the leading cause of death for children and young people.

The UN chief’s remarks came in his message on the occasion of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, which is celebrated annually on November 20.

“One of the best ways to remember and honor the victims is through do our part to make roads safer around the world,” he said.

Development in jeopardy

The Secretary-General also pointed out how road accidents are linked to development.

Nine out of ten victims are in middle and low-income countries.

“Saving more lives is required provide more money for safe and sustainable mobility, community-wide action plans and a strong prevention approach,” said Mr Guterres.

“The United Nations road safety conventions and funds help countries strengthen national systems and infrastructure. I urge Member States and donors to support these efforts and prevent further tragedies.”

Saving young lives

Meanwhile, a UN-backed global campaign aims to prevent more boys and girls from dying in road accidents.

According to the UN Road Safety Fund (UNRSF), announcing the second edition of the #moments2live4 campaign, one person dies on the roads worldwide every 24 seconds, while 500 children die on the roads worldwide every 24 hours.

It was launched on Sunday, which was also World Children’s Day in addition to World Road Traffic Victim Day.

Poorer countries affected

UNRSF is a global partnership that aims to halve the number of road deaths and injuries in low- and middle-income countries, where as many as 93 percent of fatal accidents occur each year.

The Fund’s work has included the adoption of safer vehicle regulations across the region in West Africa, as well as pedestrian and cyclist safety initiatives.

The #moments2live4 campaign aims to raise awareness of the global road safety crisisthat hits children over the age of five the hardest, and to support the Fund’s $40 million replenishment goal.

Awareness and empowerment

Nneka Henry, head of UNRSF, stressed that awareness is the first step to addressing the global road safety challenge.

“Billions of everyday road users, thousands of businesses and more than 100 governments currently sit on the sidelines of inaction, largely unaware of the far-reaching dangers to our most vulnerable road users – our children. This campaign aims to educate everyone on how to help keep children safe on the roads,” she said.

The #moments2live4 global campaign will feature supporters ranging from racing drivers, entertainers, world-class athletes and UN agency leaders.

It lasts 10 weeks and ends on International Day of Education, January 24.



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