1.35m die on roads world­wide

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

GENEVA: Road ac­ci­dents kill some­one ev­ery 24 sec­onds, with a to­tal of 1.35 mil­lion traf­fic deaths around the world each year, the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion said on Fri­day, de­mand­ing global ac­tion.

The num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties an­nu­ally has swelled by around 100,000 in just three years, with road ac­ci­dents now the lead­ing killer of chil­dren and young peo­ple be­tween the ages of five and 29, the UN health agency said in a new re­port.

“These deaths are an un­ac­cept­able price to pay for mo­bil­ity,” WHO chief Te­dros Ad­hanom Ghe­breye­sus said in a state­ment.

“There is no ex­cuse for in­ac­tion. This is a prob­lem with proven solutions,” he said.

The WHO’S Global Sta­tus Re­port on Road Safety, based on data from 2016, showed that the sit­u­a­tion is wors­en­ing.

In its last re­port, based on data from 2013, the num­ber of road traf­fic deaths was es­ti­mated at 1.25 mil­lion an­nu­ally.

But de­spite the in­crease in the over­all num­ber of deaths, the rate of death com­pared to the grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple and cars in the world has sta­bilised in re­cent years.

“This sug­gests that ex­ist­ing road safety ef­forts in some mid­dle and high-in­come coun­tries have mit­i­gated the sit­u­a­tion,” WHO said.

This is largely due to bet­ter leg­is­la­tion around key risks, in­clud­ing speed­ing, drink­ing and driv­ing, and fail­ing to use a seat­belt, child re­straints or hel­mets, the re­port found.

Safer in­fra­struc­ture like side­walks and ded­i­cated bike lanes and bet­ter ve­hi­cle stan­dards have also paid off.

But while many coun­tries have stepped up ef­forts to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion, many poorer nations are lag­ging way be­hind.

Ac­cord­ing to Fri­day’s re­port, “not a sin­gle low in­come coun­try has demon­strated a re­duc­tion in over­all deaths”, adding that the risk of a road traf­fic death re­mains three times higher there than in high in­come coun­tries.

The death rate in Africa is par­tic­u­larly high, count­ing 26.6 an­nual traf­fic deaths for ev­ery 100,000 cit­i­zens, com­pared with 9.3 in Europe, where the death rate is the low­est.

WHEN IT COMES TO EN­JOY­ING THE DESERT, THERE IS NO OTHER RE­GION AS STIM­U­LAT­ING AS THE MID­DLE EAST. AND, IN THE RE­GION, THE SUL­TANATE BOASTS SOME OF THE MOST FAB­U­LOUS DESERTS THAT OF­FER THE BEST EX­PE­RI­ENCES FOR TRAV­ELLERS SEE P2 ROAD AC­CI­DENTS ARE NOW THE LEAD­ING KILLER OF CHIL­DREN AND YOUNG PEO­PLE BE­TWEEN THE AGES OF FIVE AND 29, A WORLD HEALTH OR­GA­NI­ZA­TION RE­PORT SHOWS

— AFP

A World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion re­port shows that some 1.35m peo­ple die ev­ery year around the world as a re­sult of traf­fic ac­ci­dents.

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