Yesterday 3,500 people around the world were violently killed in road accidents.
And the same number died the day before that ….. and the day before that.
Globally, the statistics for road deaths are horrendous. In fact, someone dies in a road accident every six seconds. Yet despite this, road injury and death remains an ignored subject.
Nine out of every ten road accidents are in developing countries and as part of the road safety community we feel that it is our job to bring it to everyones attention in an effort to improve the profile amongst all governments around the world. The economic cost to developing countries is estimated by the World Bank at around US $100 billion a year (equivalent to all annual overseas aid from OECD countries). So far the international community has not reacted to these horrendous statistics.
Why the road network is treated differently to the air industry I really do not know. Can you imagine the outcry if ten passenger jets fell out of the sky every single day? But when it comes to road deaths no one blinks an eye.
If you think this does not affect you, then you are wrong.
When was the last time you were in a taxi or a hire car whilst abroad on holiday or business? You are more involved than you first think.
500,000 people are on a plane at any moment in time. Nearly every single one of those travelers will find themselves either in a taxi, on a coach or driving a strange hire car in a strange area, often on the wrong side of the road.
Yes, road safety around the world affects all of us at some time in our lives.
Although our main interest at Safer Motorways is road safety here in the UK it is important that we are also aware of the problems around the world.
In June 2012 world leaders will meet to discuss these and other issues. Although that meeting will take place in Rio de Janeiro we urge the UK government to play its part.
This is a matter that affects all of us – there is, after all, a common agenda for motorists and hopefully, any improvements that are made in Rio will also benefit all road users here in the UK too.