Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki‑moon’s message for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, observed on 15 November:
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is a time to reflect on the needless tragedies that occur each day on the world’s roads.
Despite improvements in road safety, we still face some shocking injury and fatality figures.
Road traffic accidents kill an estimated 1.25 million people each year — 90 per cent of them in middle- and low-income countries.
Such accidents are the leading cause of death among young people aged between 15 and 29. Almost half of all road traffic deaths are among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
I call on Governments to tighten enforcement of laws on speeding, drinking and driving, and to mandate and enforce the use of seatbelts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints — all of which have been shown to save lives.
The Second Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety, hosted by the Government of Brazil and supported by the World Health Organization, is being convened this week. Some 1,500 delegates from more than 100 countries — including ministers of transport, health and interior — will meet to find ways to halve road traffic deaths and injuries by 2020 — the target set forth in the new Sustainable Development Goals agreed by Member States in September.
On this solemn day, let us recommit to making our roads safe for all.