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WHO Report On Road Safety Urges Governments To Create, Enforce Driving Laws, Vehicle Safety Standards

“The Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013, released Thursday in Geneva by the World Health Organization, found that only 28 countries of the 182 surveyed had adequate laws for drinking and driving, speeding, and use of motorcycle helmets, seat belts and child restraints,” the New York Times’ “Wheels” blog reports (Mohn, 3/14). “Governments need to revise their driving laws and vehicle safety standards if the number of deaths from road traffic crashes is to be substantially reduced,” according to the report, which “show[ed] that more legislative muscle and better enforcement is needed to keep pedestrians, drivers and cyclists safe on the roads,” the U.N. News Centre writes.

“Political will is needed at the highest level of government to ensure appropriate road safety legislation and stringent enforcement of laws by which we all need to abide. … If this cannot be ensured, families and communities will continue to grieve, and health systems will continue to bear the brunt of injury and disability due to road traffic crashes,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said, the news service notes (3/14). According to the report, “about 1.24 million people worldwide died in road traffic crashes in 2010 and that road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 29,” the Associated Press/Washington Post writes (3/14). The Guardian presents several interactive graphs and data maps highlighting the information in the WHO report (Mead et al., 3/14).