The ‘global epidemic’ of roads

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The Commission for Global Road Safety released today their report for the G8 Summit, Make Roads Safe.

Of the 1.2 million people killed and 50 million injured around the world in road traffic crashes, more than 85% of casualties are in low and middle income countries. Road deaths in these countries are forecast to almost double by 2020…

Despite causing death and injury on a similar scale to global diseases like Malaria and TB, road traffic injuries are not included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and receive overseas funding which is a tiny fraction of that allocated to Malaria and TB… Road crashes also hit the poorest countries and poorest people hardest. The annual economic costs of road crashes to low and middle income nations are estimated at between $65 billion - $100 billion. This compares with official overseas aid in 2005 of $106 billion.

The report also estimates that 500 children die on roads each day and calls for the G8 countries to increase transportation and road safety funding. For more, see this BBC story and the Make Roads Safe campaign. The numbers are terribly sad, but I would have guessed they would have been even higher.

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