Today's guest blog is by Bella Dinh-Zarr, PhD, MPH, North American Director, Make Roads Safe Campaign for Global Road Safety, Road Safety Director, FIA Foundation Chair, ICEHS Section of APHA
The United Nations has proclaimed 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, making traffic crashes an international public health priority. There's no better time than National Public Health Week to join the Decade efforts!
1.3 million people die and 50+ million people are seriously injured every year on the roads worldwide. WHO estimates that by 2030, traffic related injuries will be the 5th leading cause of death worldwide. More people will die on the roads than will die of HIV/AIDS! But we can do something about this!
If we start implementing proven interventions- such as building safer cars and roads, passing good traffic laws, promoting strong enforcement and education - a Safe Systems Approach involving the road, the vehicle, and the user- we can build a safety culture and have a huge effect on future deaths. The Safe Systems approach is also the basis of the UN Decade of Action 'Five Pillar' Plan.
The Road Safety 'Tag' The Road Safety Tag is the official symbol for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety which begins on May 11, 2011. Just as the AIDS symbol is more than a red ribbon and the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon is more than a pink piece of cloth, you can help make the Tag more than just a little yellow piece of metal.
* Go to www.decadeofaction.org to download the Road Safety Tag and learn more!
* Wear a Road Safety Tag yourself (you will be in good company - with President Clinton, Mayor Bloomberg, Aung San Suu Kyi).
The Decade of Action for Road Safety is our opportunity to commit to making our communities safer where we live - and to show our concern for others suffering around the world. Please join us!