In November last year, the United Nations launched a campaign for more recognition of safer roads for children.
The global campaign called #SaveKidsLives is part of the long-term resolution for road safety, Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020. It is predominantly part of the Third United Nations Global Road Safety Week that began on 4 May and ends on 10 May.
#SaveKidsLives intends to focus on what children encounter on roads, promote action to ensure the safety of children on roads, and the inclusion of safe and sustainable transport in the post-2015 development agenda.
In the global campaign, a child declaration was created where children around the world gave their opinions on what they need to be safe on roads and experts around the world also gave their say on what measures to take to prevent road traffic injuries. This declaration will be handed to leaders and policy-makers at the UN Road Safety Week, this week.
Statistics show that every year about 186,300 kids (aged 18 and under) die from road traffic crashes connoting that over 500 children die each day and even more are injured.
Road traffic deaths is the number one killer for kids aged 15 to 17, third for children aged 10 to 14 and ranked fourth for children aged 5 to 9 years. Twice as many boys die than girls.
Dr Krug, Director at WHO’s Department for Management of Non-communicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, said “We should plan our transportation system in such a way that children can be safe when they go to school, where they go to the park, when they go visit a friend.”
He also said that most deaths caused by road traffics are found in middle-income and low-income countries.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation recorded in 2010, that worldwide, children under the age of 19 died as pedestrians (38%), occupants in vehicles (36%), motorcyclists (14%) and bicyclists (6%).
In 2013, then Acting Deputy Director of National Road Safety Council said 34% of pedestrian casualties, those that died, are children ages between 1 and 15.
Earlier this year EM TV reported that PNG is placed fourth in the world in road accidents; a very sad fact that the country needs to think deeply about.