Around the world, people are organizing activities during the 6th UN Global Road Safety Week. Today we are featuring some of the amazing work done by the UN-Habitat and their partners.
UN-Habitat actively engaged with the launch of the 6th UN Global Road Safety Week. Their Executive Director spoke on critical road safety issues during the launch event hosted by the World Health Organization and FiA Foundation, and on the importance of speed management together with partners of the UN Road Safety Fund.
Rapid urbanisation adds a strain to the already overburdened transport systems and the provision of safe infrastructure and transport services is lacking behind. Around the world, road traffic injuries cause 1.35 million deaths and up to 50 million injuries each year. Especially for young people road crashes are one of the leading causes of fatalities in our times. To date, transport investments are often focused on large infrastructure for private cars, while investments in walking and cycling or the modernization of public transport have been slow particularly in low- and middle-income countries, although non-motorised transport accounts for the majority of trips in these countries. Besides the human tragedy, the economic implications of road safety are severe as well.
Traffic-related mortality and injury cost the global economy around $518 billion each year. COVID-19 has imposed an additional burden on cities and their transport systems. Many cities witnessed a relative increase in car usage and a decrease in public transport. However, at the same time, safer transport options like walking and cycling have become more popular. Safe streets for pedestrians and cyclists are central to ‘building back better’ as the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Cities also must upgrade their public transport systems to regain the trust of the people as cities with high ridership of public transport have lower traffic fatality rates than car-oriented cities.
UN-Habitat will continue its efforts to support national and local governments to move quickly towards shaping policy frameworks and allocating funding for building complete streets in dense urban environments in order to promote active mobility and public transport. Besides improving road safety, these transport modes bring a host of other benefits: less greenhouse gas emissions, reduced noise and air pollution and improve urban life quality.
UN-Habitat is currently supporting 19 countries with initiatives that improve road safety, equitable access, transport efficiencies, pollution and climate change responses. By forming successful partnerships with Governments, other UN agencies, financiers, civil society and the private sector, UN-Habitat aims to contribute to the achievement of SDG target 3.6 “halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents” and SDG target 11.2 “Provide access to Public Transport”, while giving special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations incl. women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.
Please read the full and special newsletter of UN-Habitat on the 6th UN Global Road Safety Week here: