The UN has an ambitious goal to cut road deaths and injuries by 50% in five years. Are governments and donors finally prioritising the issue?
“If you read any newspaper in India, across Africa or south-east Asia, you regularly see big stories about crashes involving multiple casualties,” says Saul Billingsley. “There’s awareness that these things are happening [in developing countries] but not an awareness of how to deal with it.”
Some 90% of the 1.2m deaths caused by road crashes each year occur in developing countries. Road injuries are the leading cause of death among people aged between 15 and 29, and the ninth leading cause of death overall, according to the World Health Organisation.
These are big numbers, and the issue goes beyond the immediate impact. Every year, 1 million children are either killed or seriously injured in road crashes, and miss out on an education. If a parent is injured or killed, children often have to drop out of school to look after them or find a way to earn money. And there is a strain on health systems that are already under pressure, says Billingsley, director of the FIA Foundation, a global road safety charity.
Read the full article: Halve traffic accident deaths and injuries by 2020: can it be done?