17 May 2013

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

Use Technology to Prevent Millions of Traffic Deaths, Secretary-General Urges


in Message for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, observed on 17 May:

I welcome the focus on road safety for this year’s World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

Road accidents kill nearly 1.3 million people every year.  They leave millions more injured or permanently disabled, placing a heavy economic burden on families and countries.

The United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety, from 2011 to 2020, is dedicated to helping to make roads and vehicles safer worldwide.  Information and communication technologies provide many options.  Intelligent transport systems and navigation devices can help reduce congestion.  Radars can help to prevent collisions with other road users — including pedestrians.  Hands-free communications mean less accidents, especially among young people who account for more than half of road deaths.

I commend the International Telecommunication Union for its work with industry to develop ICT [information and communications technology] standards and for collaborating with the International Automobile Federation to create awareness on road safety.

Let us make the best of technology to dramatically reduce traffic fatalities.  This can save millions of lives.

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For information media • not an official record