Urban road safety
With over 1.24 million deaths and up to 50 million injuries every year on roads – over 90% of which happen in low and middle income countries (LMICs), road safety is now recognized as an urgent global problem often costing such countries between 3-5 % of their annual GDP and impeding their economic and social development. It’s growing importance and the need for LMICSs to take urgent action is emphasized by the United Nations declaring a Decade of Action on road safety and the inclusion of road safety targets within 2 of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Increasing urbanisation around the world is concentrating people and vehicles into the cities and towns exposing even more vulnerable road users (VRUs) such as pedestrians and cyclists to risk of death or injury. Vulnerable road users already contribute by far the biggest numbers of those killed and the majority of these victims die or are severely injured in the cities and towns of LMICs. Preventive action can and should be taken by the Municipal leaders and communities to protect their citizens and to reduce such unnecessary deaths and injuries and the terrible financial and social impacts that can occur to the families of those killed or disabled – especially if they were the main bread winners of the family. The updated document on Urban Road Safety: Module 5b- Sustainable Transport: A Sourcebook for Policy-makers in Developing Cities provides a comprehensive overview of the kinds of actions that can be taken by policy makers.