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140 nations, 80 ministers discuss road safety

Published by The Nation on Thu, 20 Feb 2020

Justina Asishana reporting from Sweden80 Ministers and Deputy Ministers, including 27 from African countries on Wednesday started discussion on how to reduce road crashes and improve safety.They met at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on road safety, which attracted 1,700 participants from 140 countries in Sweden.The Director, Social Determinants of Health, WHO, Dr. Etienne Krug, who spoke to Journalists said road traffic crashes, deaths and injuries have become development issues that need urgent attention.He explained that the reason for the conference to develop the political will that will address the issue of road safety in countries.The key to address road traffic deaths is political will, the key for us that the head of state, head of government or the prime minister decide to put this as an important priority on his agenda.There is no magic bullet, there needs to be a combination of methods that address the entire road safety system, the infrastructure issue, the vehicles, peoples behavior, trauma care system, all of that supported by solid data information and led by multi-sectoral efforts, he stressed.READ ALSO:2020 and new political permutationsEtienne said that the conference would set the agenda for the next decade of action in road safety agencies which aims to see the reduction of road traffic crashes by 50 percent.We hope to set the agenda for the next 10 years and add road safety to be part of the SDG. We hope to see a 50 percent reduction by 2020. It is possible, we know what needs to happen, it is a question of seeing it happen by putting in the measures on road safety.In the last decade, we saw in the European Union, a 20 percent decrease in road crashes and injuries, in Russia, 30 percent decrease and in Brazilian cities, 50 to 60 percent decrease. It is possible. we just need to do more.The WHO Director said that in the different plenary discussions, ministers, senior officers in road transport ministries and agencies across the world would learn about the lessons from the last decade of action, how to have good leadership, how do we finance road and other priorities for the next of the next ten year.We hope that the conference will be able to shift attention to safe and active transport modes, address speeding, respond to the needs of children, accelerate development technology, engaged private sector.It is our hope also that the conference will lead us in a different direction. From a century of unsafe, dirty and passive transport to a century of safe, clean and active transport.
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