6 May 2013

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Traffic Accidents Kill 1.3 Million People Each Year, but with Commitment


Roads Can Be Made Safer for All, Secretary-General Says in Video Message


The following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for Global Road Safety Week, 6–12 May:

Each year, nearly 1.3 million people die, and as many as 50 million are injured, in road traffic accidents.  More than a quarter million killed are pedestrians.  That is why the theme of this year’s Global Road Safety Week is “Make Walking Safe”.

We must also make driving safer for young adults, who account for more than half of traffic fatalities.  Accidents are the world’s leading cause of death for those between 15 and 29 years old.

There are nearly 1 billion cars on the roads today.  By 2030, that number will double.  In addition to human suffering, road crashes inflict a high economic toll on individuals and society.

The Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2011 to 2020 is promoting a range of road safety measures, including legislation, behavioural change, safer vehicles and better infrastructure.

But it is important to recognize that road safety is a shared responsibility.  I welcome the many local, national and regional initiatives marking this second Global Road Safety Week.  With commitment we can make the world’s roads much safer for all.

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For information media • not an official record