In a bid to support Middle and low-income countries that don’t have the essential resources or the know-how to design safer roads, the UN General Assembly’s first high-level meeting on road safety called on the world to take global action to cut the annual toll of nearly 1.3 million deaths and 50 million injuries in traffic crashes by at least half by decade’s end.
During the meeting, the UN partners pledged $15 million to UNRSF during the High-level Meeting on Global Road Safety on 30 June to fund vital road safety projects.
In his address at the opening session, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted that road accidents are the primary cause of death globally of young people ages 5 to 29, and that nine out of 10 victims are in low- and middle-income countries.
“Road fatalities are closely linked to poor infrastructure, unplanned urbanization, lax social protection, and health care systems, limited road safety literacy, and persistent inequalities both within and between countries,” he said.
“At the same time, unsafe roads are a key obstacle to development.”
In the same connection, Guterres called for “more ambitious and urgent action to reduce the biggest risks — such as speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or any psychoactive substance or drug, failure to use seatbelts, helmets and child restraints, unsafe road infrastructure and unsafe vehicles, poor pedestrian safety, and inadequate enforcement of traffic laws.”
He urged increased spending on improving infrastructure and implementing “cleaner mobility and greener urban planning, especially in low- and middle-income countries.”
It’s worth mentioning that the UN Road Safety Fund was established in 2018 to help cut road deaths and injuries in low- and middle-income countries.