Road accidents blight economies and lives

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Photo Credit: PAHO/Victor Pavarino

Road accidents, which kill over 3,000 people everyday, continue to take a toll on low and middle income countries.

That's what Christophe Lorry Boulanger of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies told the UN General Assembly during its meeting on the global road safety crisis on Thursday.

Mr. Boulanger said although real progress has been made in improving road safety, including the passing of road safety laws in a number of countries, more work needs to be done.

"Put in economic and sustainable development terms, road crashes kill 3,300 people, roughly ten aircrafts, every day, or 1.3 million people, every single year. Nearly half of those dying on the world’s roads are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Road crashes also severely injure, often permanently, 20-50 million people, every single year."

Mr. Boulanger said the global financial cost of road traffic injuries is $518 billion each year – a loss of an economy the size of Switzerland.

To draw attention to the issue, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the years from 2011 to 2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety.

Duration: 1’22″

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

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