[dropcap]W[/dropcap]orld’s Safety conscious nations, including Nigeria, stood up for road safety last week, participating and marking the fourth United Nations Global Safety Week, which drew to a close on Sunday.
The one-week event focused on speed and what can be done to address the risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries.
The event was coordinated by the UN Road Safety Collaboration, a body formed in 2004, via collaboration of United Nations General Assembly and World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the body, Speed contributes to around one-third of all fatal road traffic crashes in high-income countries, and up to half in low- and middle-income countries, adding that countries successfully reducing road traffic deaths have done so by prioritizing safety when managing speed. Among the proven strategies to address speed include:
- Building or modifying roads to include features that calm traffic
- Establishing speed limits to the function of each road
- Enforcing speed limits
- Installing in-vehicle technologies
- Raising awareness about the dangers of speeding.
The Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week, which came to a close on Sunday sought to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and generate action on measures to address speed, thereby saving lives on the roads.
In Nigeria, One of the united nation’s Collaborating partners, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in collaboration with UN decade of action on road safety, jointly held an executive walk to mark 4th UN road safety week in Abuja on Saturday, 13th May.
Also, South Africa-based, MasterDrive drew public attention to the weeklong event by participating in various road safety initiatives, including Bakwena Trucking Wellness Day held at a weigh bridge along a Bakwena toll concession, during which they shared knowledge on safe driving skills and the power of their impact.
Meanwhile Trucking Wellness, an initiative of the Bargaining Council, was also there to provide complimentary health checks to truckers.
SlowDown Save Lives day was also hosted by Kasi Road Safety and the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) on Saturday 13 May 2017, same day Nigeria’s FRSC held their event.
MasterDrive’s Managing Director, Eugene Herbert, expressed enthusiasm about the role South Africa played during the important week:“It is unlikely we will ever make a significant change in the high road fatality statistics South Africa faces without the support of the public.
“Each person who gets behind the wheel needs to understand the integral role they play in road fatality statistics with each decision they make. This is especially true for speeding.
“Excessive or inappropriate speed for the conditions is, in particular, a major challenge to reducing fatal crashes. Along with strict enforcement and harsh punishments, acknowledgement from the public of the importance of not speeding can go a long way in bringing the change we need. With recent changes in legislation and these awareness campaigns, I hope we can achieve this change.”
About the UN Road Safety Collaboration
In April 2004, the UN General Assembly resolution A/RES58/289 on “Improving global road safety” invited WHO, working in close cooperation with the UN regional commissions, to act as coordinator on road safety issues across the UN system. The World Health Assembly accepted this invitation in May 2004 and WHO subsequently set up the UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) which holds biannual meetings to discuss global road safety issues.
The Collaboration is an informal consultative mechanism whose members are committed to road safety efforts and in particular to the implementation of the recommendations of the World report on road traffic injury prevention. The goal of the Collaboration is to facilitate international cooperation and to strengthen global and regional coordination among UN agencies and other international partners to implement UN General Assembly resolutions and the recommendations of the world report thereby supporting country programmes.
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