Agency calls for safer roads, vehicles

In a bid to prevent traffic and accident-related deaths, the World Health Organization(WHO) is stressing the need to have have better roads and vehicles.

WHO

Due to the high rate of accident-related roads, with Africa as high as 26.6, the World Health Organization(WHO) is stressing the need to have have better roads and vehicles.

The recommendations include:

  • tougher laws to prevent drivers from speeding or drinking
  • cars that have passed basic safety standards
  • better safety features on vehicles
  • better care for victims.

Concerning the vehicles, Etienne Krug, head of WHO’s disability, violence and injury prevention unit, said car makers have to take safety seriously.

"We are talking about some rather simple and basic things such as seat belts, such as front-impact regulations, such as electric stability control. The vast majority of cars being produced around the world are still not up to the best safety standards. Very often in many places the safety of vehicles is sacrificed in order to have improvements in prices."

He went on to speak on better care for victims of accidents.

"And that does not necessarily need to be expensive. Very often the assumption is that we need more helicopters and very fancy ambulances. In fact, a very basic ambulance with minimum equipment and people who are trained in simple (life-saving) measures could do a lot of good."

New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, spoke on the overall importance of road safety.

"Traffic crashes are something like the ninth leading cause of death in the world. They are the number one cause of death for people aged 15-29. The fact is that every one of those deaths really is preventable."

Nigeria needs to take road safety seriously as it has been named among countries failing to apply best practices by the WHO's Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015.

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