A decade of road safety action

AA stresses need to target safety campaigns at young drivers

16 June 2009

Road deaths are a far greater global 'pandemic' danger then swine flu but campaigns targeted at young drivers can make a difference, according to the AA president speaking at a road safety seminar in the House of Commons today.

AA President Edmund king Addressing a group of influential road safety advocates from eastern European and Africa, Edmund King, will tell the delegates that "governments in all countries must combat the world's fastest growing public health emergency. This is not the swine flu 'pandemic' but global road deaths. Targeting safety campaigns at young drivers and improving the road infrastructure will also help towards reducing death and injury on the roads."

The AA will also be joining Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, the Make Roads Safe Campaign, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) in a meeting to call for a Decade of Action on road safety in Westminster today. New Transport secretary, Lord Adonis, will also attend.

If all governments committed to a road safety 'Decade of Action', 5 million lives and 50 million serious injuries would be prevented. A coordinated UN action plan for road safety is urgently needed with road crashes set to become the leading cause of disability and premature death for children aged 5-14 across developing countries by 2015.

Even though the UK has a relatively good safety record more could be done regarding new drivers, child pedestrians, older pedestrian and cycling casualties.

The 'Make Roads Safe' report urges UN governments attending the first ever global governmental conference on road safety in Moscow in November, to support a 'Decade of Action for Road Safety' between 2010-2020. During the Decade the international community should invest in a $300 million action plan to catalyse traffic injury prevention and re-focus national road safety policies and budgets.

Road crashes already kill more people in the developing world than malaria, at an economic cost of up to $100 billion a year, equivalent to all overseas aid from OECD countries:

  • More than one million people are killed on the roads of developing countries every year, and tens of millions are injured, a toll set to double by 2030. Road crashes are already the leading global cause of death for young people aged 10-24
  • Road crashes have now overtaken malaria as a major killer in developing countries

Edmund King, AA president, said: "Many countries have mobilised against a possible pandemic of swine flu yet there is a far bigger silent global killer out there – road deaths. Most governments are not mobilised to cut this carnage. The AA will be urging the UK Government and others around the world to commit to a decade of action to prevent 5 million road deaths. We are delighted that Lewis Hamilton is joining the call for a decade of action for road safety."

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Edmund King, AA president will be addressing the FIA Foundation Road Safety Scholarship Parliamentary seminar. The programme brings together young professionals from East Asia, Africa and, Latin America and Eastern Europe for a two week intensive course on road safety. King will talk about the Make Roads Safe campaign and the AA Charitable Trust's Drive Smart scheme.

Join the discussion in the AA zone

 

16 June 2009