Save children’s lives now, with road safety!

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 05 04 who child road safety 04 Source: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 2010

05 May 2015 – The UN Global Road Safety Week kicked off yesterday, running through May 10th. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every four minutes, a child dies from a traffic accident. In this context, the UN has launched #SaveKidsLives, a global campaign to generate action to make streets safe for children.

More than 500 children are killed on the roads every day. Many more are injured, often severely.

For adolescents aged 15 to 17, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death worldwide, with boys accounting for nearly twice as many road traffic deaths as girls. One third of these deaths are children in cars but two thirds are outside cars.

In total, around 186 300 children under 18 years die from road traffic crashes annually, and rates of road traffic death are three times higher in developing countries than in developed countries.

For countries in a phase of rapid motorization – many of them middle-income countries – roads are often built without due consideration for the communities they pass through. Historically, this was also the case in high-income countries. A shift in mind set is desperately needed to ensure that roads everywhere serve the needs of, and are safe for, all who use them, including children, but also other vulnerable groups such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

10 strategies for keeping children safe on the road

“It’s a manmade disaster where we are killing our young children on the roads by not providing them with safe places to play, safe places to walk, or cycle to school,” Dr. Etienne Krug, Director at WHO’s Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, said.

A new WHO document, Ten strategies for keeping children safe on the road, presents 10 strategies that are best known – especially when implemented as a package of measures – to keep children safe on the roads.

Through these measures, road traffic death and injury are eminently preventable. The countries which have garnered the political will needed to address this issue have demonstrated this, and in doing so have spared the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and saved their nations countless resources.

#SaveKidsLives and the Child Declaration for Road Safety

In addition to this new package, the UN has launched the #SaveKidsLives campaign, so as to boost road safety for children further.

The campaign is calling for action to save children’s lives on the roads around the world, through generating worldwide action to better ensure the safety of children on the roads and calling for inclusion of safe and sustainable transport in the post-2015 development agenda.

As part of the campaign and Global Road Safety Week, the Child Declaration for Road Safety, inspired by kids all over the world and urging decision-makers worldwide to take action and protect children, will be delivered to policy-makers.

What can you do?

Read and sign the Child Declaration now!

You can also consult the following infographic on road safety or watch the video below.