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Fifth United Nations Global Road Safety Week: Speak Up and Save Lives

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in Armenia in cooperation with UN sister agencies, the Ministry of Health of Armenia and other key stakeholders, organizes a press conference dedicated to the Fifth United Nations Global Road Safety Week.

The slogan of the fifth UN Global Road Safety Week for 6-12 May 2019 is “Speak Up and Save Lives” and thematic focus of the week is leadership for road safety. Stronger leadership for road safety is needed at national and local levels to attain road safety targets. The most effective leaders, who hail from all sectors of society, are those who #SpeakUp for road safety and take action. It’s important to recognize that all of us, as individuals, can be leaders for road safety!

In his speech WHO Representative in Armenia, Dr Egor Zaitsev, said: “Deaths from road traffic injuries are just the tip of the iceberg with millions more people injured, many with life-long consequences. Road traffic injuries are not “accidents”, they have risk factors and are therefore preventable”.

About 1.3 million people die on the world's roads and 20 - 50 million are injured every year. Road traffic crashes are a major cause of death among all age groups and the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5–29 years. The risk of dying in a road traffic crash is more than 3 times higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries. Every 6 minutes someone dies on the roads of the WHO European Region – 230 people each day, 83 000 people every year.

Armenia is one of the countries which have seen rapid rates of motorization and increases in the number of road crashes. Road traffic injuries are a leading cause of premature mortality in children and young adults in Armenia. 

Millions of lives can be saved and injuries prevented with well-enforced road safety laws on speeding, drinking and driving, and use of seatbelts, child restraints and motorcycle helmets. Road design, improved vehicle standards and better emergency care also save many lives. 
                                     
The World Health Organization developed the Save LIVES technical package to support road safety decision-makers and practitioners in their efforts to significantly reduce the number of road traffic deaths in their countries. Save LIVES provides an evidence-based inventory of priority interventions.

The Global status report on road safety 2018 show to what extent countries are implementing effective road safety measures.  More countries of the European region have also taken steps to strengthen their legislation and enforcement practices to come into line with best practice. However, much needs to be done in the Region. 

Recognizing its public health and international development priority, road safety is a key target under the Sustainable Development Goals, with a 50% reduction called for by 2020.

In April 2004, the UN General Assembly resolution A/RES58/289 on “Improving global road safety” invited WHO, working in close cooperation with the UN regional commissions, to act as coordinator on road safety issues across the UN system. The World Health Assembly accepted this invitation in May 2004 and WHO subsequently set up the UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) which holds biannual meetings to discuss global road safety issues.

 

Information on Fifth United Nations Global Road Safety Week could be found here
https://www.unroadsafetyweek.org/en/home

Global status report on road safety 2018 could be found here
https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_safety_status/2018/en/