WHO says over 1.35 mn lives lost a year
Road accidents are the leading cause of death among people in the 5-29 age-group worldwide with more than 1.35 million lives lost each year and 50 million sustaining injuries, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report released during the on-going global road safety week.
“But what makes matters worse for India is the fact that since 2008 we have maintained our dubious distinction of being world number one in road crash deaths. In 2015, India became a signatory to the Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety, where we committed to halving road crash deaths by 2020. Forget about halving, we may not even have acknowledged the full scale of the problem in India,” said Piyush Tewari, founder, Save LIFE Foundation.
He said that as per the data released by the Indian government, road crashes kill close to 1,50,000 people each year. However, the WHO global status report on road safety had challenged the numbers and stated that India might be losing over 2,99,000 people each year.
“Road crashes have emerged as the single biggest killer of people in the age group of 15-45. We are in the midst of a major pandemic and the need of the hour is strong political will and leadership to address the issue. Simply blaming individual drivers will not help when the existing systems in which they are forced to operate are outdated and rotten,” Mr. Tewari added.
Meanwhile, the reasons listed for this trend include — rapid urbanisation, poor safety, lack of enforcement, distracted, influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding and a failure to wear seat-belts or helmets, according to experts.
Date: October 11, 2019