China is undergoing rapid motorization and urbanization. As a consequence, hundreds of thousands of people lose their lives every year due to road traffic crashes. In rural areas, most of those killed are riders of motorbikes or bicycles as well as pedestrians, while in cities, drivers and passengers of cars are most at risk. According to the recently published WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety, although there are laws on speed, seat-belt wearing and helmet wearing, they are poorly adhered to by the population. China is one of the ten countries included in the WHO Road Safety in 10 countries project which will be conducted over 5-years by a consortium of six international partners.
The road safety project
In China, the project will be jointly coordinated and implemented by WHO China country office and the Ministry of Health. A national advisory committee, reflecting all major governmental stakeholders will oversee the project while consortium partners from WHO, the Global Road Safety Partnership, the World Bank and the International Injury Research Unit from Johns Hopkins University will provide technical support.
The project will be undertaken in the proposed city of Dalian in Liaoning Province and Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. Drinking and driving and speeding have been identified as the two risk factors which will be addressed in the two cities.