UN Decade of Action for Road Safety launched to save five million lives 

 11/05/2011  | | Print

Decade of Action Tag projected onto Trafalgar Square, London 
Decade of Action Tag projected onto Moscow State University Building
The Tag was featured at Times Square New York
Sydney Harbour Bridge displayed the Tag early ahead of the launch
The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio, was lit yellow for the Decade launch

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and world leaders are pledging to take action to tackle the global public health epidemic of road deaths as the Decade of Action for Road Safety is launched around the worldwide. 

The global effort to save five million lives and prevent 50 million serious injuries has begun on 11 May with major launch events in countries around the world.

The UN is launching the Decade in the face of a worldwide epidemic of road deaths which is set to become a bigger killer than HIV/AIDs over the next 10 years. Road crashes are now the number one killer of young people over the age of 10 around the world.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “Let us all work together to make sure the world’s roads are safe. We need the support from member states and community leaders. Most importantly this UN Decade of Action for Road Safety is for everybody, every expressway, every road and every vehicle. We need a coordinated effort. If we lead by example, we can save millions of lives. This is what the United Nations is working very hard for – a safer world for all.”

  • Already the number one killer of young people over 10 years old, by 2015 road crashes will be the leading health burden for children over five as well.
  • Road crashes kill more people than Malaria and by the end of the decade they are projected to become a bigger killer than HIV/AIDS.
  • Developing and emerging economies account for most – 90% – of the 1.3 million people killed on the roads each year.
  • Road crashes cost developing countries over $100bn every year – the same amount as they receive in development assistance.

Major events are taking place around the world. They include: events in the Australian and New Zealand Parliaments; a launch with actress and Make Roads Safe Ambassador Michelle Yeoh in China; a day of campaigning in Vietnam; calls for action by President Medvedev in Russia; a Downing Street launch event with Prime Minister David Cameron, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button; a launch event with HRH Prince Michael of Kent in Kenya; a Congressional launch event in Washington DC; and a Ministerial conference in Mexico.

On 10 May, the night before the Decade launch, around the world the yellow road safety Tag was beamed onto high profile landmarks including Trafalgar Square, the Moscow State University, New York’s Times Square, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Christ the Redeemer, Rio.

Watch this short film on the the launch of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 >