Road safety advocates write to the world leaders urging action to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries

Road safety advocates have said that reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 percent by 2030 can be accomplished by rethinking mobility and prioritizing road safety interventions.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: In the lead-up to the 2023 UN SDG Summit in New York, Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, representing the road safety advocates from around the world, has written a letter to the heads of state and governments from across the world urging them to make roads safer. “The Summit should be a forum where the crisis on our roads and the need to rethink mobility are addressed,” they have written in an open letter addressed to the world leaders. “We are disappointed that mobility has been overlooked in the political declaration to be adopted at the Summit. Rethinking mobility is critical not only for SDG 3.6 and 11.2 but also as an enabler to achieve a host of other SDGs.”

Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety has said that 3,700 people are killed daily on the roads worldwide. “We cannot accept these tragedies. We cannot accept that road injuries are the leading cause of death in people aged 5-29 and a major cause of disability. We cannot accept the devastating effects of crashes on families and communities, from loss of income, jobs, and education to physical pain and psychological problems,” the letter mentions.  “We cannot accept that even though we know what works to reduce road deaths and injuries, we are not implementing it. We are not doing enough to rethink mobility. We are leaving people behind.”

Rethinking mobility isn’t just about reducing road deaths and injuries. It is also about creating more livable and sustainable cities and communities, improving air quality, and reducing noise pollution, the letter mentions. “A safe road system enables children to get to school and their parents to access decent work opportunities. It must consider safe mobility for all, including those who walk, bike, or take public transport, not just motorized vehicle users.”

Road safety advocates have urged the world leaders to take action to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50 percent by 2030. They say that it can be accomplished by rethinking mobility and prioritizing road safety interventions that have been proven to save lives and reduce injuries. “When you return to your country after this Summit, we urge you to make specific public commitments to implement lower speed limits; 30 km/h zones where people walk, cycle, live, and play; and road infrastructure to protect pedestrians, such as speed bumps, footpaths, and raised crossings,” they have told the world leaders. According to them this can be realized by allocating funds to these proven interventions and involving people and communities—youth, women, and other overlooked road users—in decisions that affect them, to make our streets safe and inclusive for all.

“We have only 2,664 days until the end of 2030: 2,664 days to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% and to achieve the full SDG agenda for a safe, sustainable future for people and planet that leaves no one behind,” they have reminded the world leaders in the letter. “We cannot afford to wait any longer. Take action with us. Together, we can make a difference.”