12 Feb, 13 | by Junaid Bhatti
The 2nd United Nations (UN) Global Road Safety Week is to be held from 6th to 12th May 2013. This week marks the beginning of the third year of a 10-year-long international initiative, “the Decade of Action for Road Safety.” The focus of this week is to raise awareness about pedestrian safety. This week has two types of goals: short-term, a fatality-free week and long-term, promotion of safe walking. The following actions are proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to make this week fatality free: increasing awareness and enforcement of existing traffic laws and by implementing “quick wins” in road infrastructure such as providing street lights near pedestrian areas, recuperating sidewalks from business owners, improving safety of school routes, and promoting use of reflective materials by pedestrians. Similarly, the following actions are proposed to promote safe walking in the longer term: advocacy and support for installing sidewalks, speed calming measures, traffic diversion, ensuring vehicle safety standards that protect pedestrians (e.g., shock absorbing bumpers), enhancing trauma care, and improving road safety education. The proposed actions are expected to contribute in preventing as many as 5 000 pedestrians’ deaths per week on the roads worldwide.
Editor: This is a great opportunity for us to promote road safety messages across different levels of society i.e., from stakeholders to general public. We all can play a role in promoting specific actions for pedestrian safety in our local settings e.g., by actively participating or organizing awareness activities. The importance of this week from an advocacy standpoint should not be ignored. At present, seven countries have registered events related to the 2nd UN Global Road Safety Week at the WHO website. If you have ideas for making this week a success or you are holding an event, please do share with all of us.
You can also register your event at the WHO website: