Violence and Injury Prevention

WHO launches new report to serve as baseline for Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020

On 14 March, WHO launched the Global status report on road safety 2013 at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The launch event, which involved around 200 participants, was opened by the WHO Director-General (by video) followed by a brief video highlighting the tragic consequences of the lack of safety on the roads worldwide.

Following an opening statement by the WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, and brief video statements from the Mayor of New York City, the Global Ambassador for the Make Road Safe Campaign, and the Chair of the Commission for Global Road Safety, the report was presented.

Statements in support of the report and its findings and recommendations were made by the Deputy Minister of Health of Mozambique; the Deputy Minister of Interior of the Russian Federation; and ambassadors from Brazil, France, Mexico, Panama, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Representatives of the Geneva-based missions of Egypt and Ethiopia also spoke in support of the report. A panel discussion followed with key global road safety experts.

The report, made possible by a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, presents information on road safety from 182 countries. Its purpose is to identify gaps and generate action in road safety at national level. It also serves as a baseline for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

The report indicates that worldwide the total number of road traffic deaths remains high at 1.24 million per year, legislation and enforcement are still inadequate, and pedestrians and cyclists need to be better protected.