The launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety (11/5/11), which is seeking to save five million lives over the 10-year period 2011-2020, provides a welcome focus on road safety, according to Road Safety GB.
Governments, international agencies, civil societies and private companies from more than 100 countries are participating in the launch. From Tanzania to Sri Lanka and from Namibia to Mexico, presidents and prime ministers are expressing their commitment to road safety and launching national plans for the Decade. To symbolise the launch, national monuments are being illuminated with the road safety ‘tag’, the new symbol for the Decade.
James Gibson, Road Safety GB’s press and PR officer, said: “The World Health Organisation should be congratulated for its foresight in creating a global spotlight on road safety.
“Here in the UK we are eagerly awaiting the publication of the new strategic framework for road safety and we hope that the government may choose this important day to unveil it.
“A new national road safety document would help to provide a focus for UK activity and would clearly add weight to the global message which is highlighted through the launch of the Decade of Action. The remarkable casualty reduction figures we’ve achieved here in the UK do not just happen – they are the result of the collective efforts and expertise of road safety officers, engineers and other stakeholders.
“The Decade of Action proves that globally road safety is now considered a vital issue – we urge our government to enable road safety professionals here in the UK to continue to lead the way with regard to developing evidence-based life-saving initiatives and interventions.”
Road Safety GB will be represented among the 150 guests at the UK launch which is being hosted by PACTS at Church House Conference Centre in Westminster, London. Speakers will include Barry Sheerman MP, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, chair of the Commission for Road Safety, and Philip Hammond MP, secretary of state for transport.
Robert Gifford, executive director of PACTS, said: “Nearly 640,000 children were born in 2004 and are turning seven this year. If they come to learn to drive in 10 years’ time, we all commit that they will be driving on roads where all preventable deaths and injuries have become a thing of the past. This will be our legacy for young people by 2020.”
We will carry a full report on the launch later in the day or tomorrow morning.
Click here for more information about the Decade of Action for Road Safety.