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Fifth UN Global Road Safety Week: “Leadership for Road Safety”

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6 May 2019 – The Fifth UN Global Road Safety Week is taking place from 6 to 12 May 2019.This major worldwide campaign, which was requested by the United Nations General Assembly, focuses on the theme of Leadership for Road Safety.

The campaign is a unique opportunity to advocate for leadership at all levels of policy-making and society at large. Leaders can be parliamentarians improving laws; mayors making their cities safe for walking and cycling; headteachers calling for speed limits and sidewalks around their schools; and parents becoming role models for their children.

Young people can also take the lead by advocating for safer behaviours among their peers and safer systems to support such behaviours.

“Road traffic injury prevention and control is a key component of our new Vision 2023 for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, which calls for solidarity and action towards Health for All by All,” said WHO’s Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari. “Road safety can only be achieved through collaboration and collective effort by people from a range of different technical, political and community backgrounds. We all have to speak up and push for change, raising awareness and generating demand among all stakeholders.”

Available data show that the Eastern Mediterranean Region accounts for almost 10% of global road traffic deaths. The Region has the third highest road traffic death rate of any WHO region. Over 50% of these deaths are among vulnerable road users: pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists. Road traffic injury is the eighth leading cause of death among all ages in the Region and the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults aged 15–29, after collective violence.

Road Safety Week is also an opportunity to reaffirm global commitment to work actively towards achieving road safety targets, including Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.6: to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% and SDG target 11.2: to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all.

Stronger effective leadership is essential to advance road safety around the world and provide a compelling vision of the future.

To demonstrate its leadership in road safety, WHO has developed a comprehensive, Road Safety and Vehicle Management Policy. The policy aims to ensure that WHO vehicles are operated safely to reduce the risk of road traffic crashes and that the Organization’s fleet is professionally managed. Among many other initiatives planned during Road Safety Week, WHO offices including the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean will host various activities to support implementation of the policy. 

Message from WHO Regional Director, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari | Road Safety Week 2019

Related links

Fifth UN Global Road Safety Week

Global status report on road safety 2018

WHO fact sheet on road traffic injuries

WHO web site on road traffic injuries

SaveLIVES: a road safety technical package