World Health Organisation (WHO) says no fewer than 1.35 million people died annually from road traffic accidents.
WHO, in a statement posted on its website, stated that ministers from over 100 countries would meet to agree on a new global road safety agenda to reduce the number of deaths. According to the statement, the ministers will meet to agree on the new agenda to halve road accident traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.
It stated the officials would meet to discuss new steps to halve road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030 in line with global targets agreed in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The meeting, according to the statement, will hold in Stockholm, Sweden from 19 to 20 February.
The statement quoted Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO, as saying: “the fact that an estimated 1.35 million lives are lost every year due to road traffic collisions is an outrage.
“It is an unacceptable price to pay for mobility.”
Road traffic injuries are now the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged five to 29 years, according to WHO’s most recent Global status report on road safety.
More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
The risk of road traffic death remains three times higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries.
Moreover, as many as 50 million people experience non-fatal road injuries, which impose human suffering and major economic losses.
The statement further quoted Ghebreyesus, as saying “that most road traffic deaths and injuries can be prevented, using tried and tested strategies.
“This conference is an opportunity for the world to embrace a new agenda to radically reduce the number of lives lost on our roads.
“It is also an opportunity to re-think how we can provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all”.
Many countries had already made progress through effective road safety management and focusing on better legislation and enforcement around key risks such as speeding; drinking and driving, and failing to use seat-belts.
They had also improved infrastructure through measures such as safer sidewalks and dedicated lanes for cyclists; implemented vehicle standards such as those that mandate advanced braking and electronic stability control; and enhanced post-crash care.
According to the statement, the conference will offer delegates an opportunity to share successes and lessons learned, chart future strategic directions for global road safety, and define ways to fast-track progress around proven strategies to save lives.