UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged member states to prioritise road safety in their COVID-19 recovery plans.
Guterres made the call in a message to 2020 World Day of the Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, commemorated annually on the third Sunday of November.
Citing statistics, the UN chief said that road traffic accidents were a major health and development challenge, claiming no fewer than 3,700 lives everyday around the world.
“Road traffic incidents are the leading cause of death for children and young adults between five and 29 years old.
“Ninety per cent of victims live in low- and middle-income countries.
“We need to remember this, as we resolve to build a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our mobility systems must have safety at their core.
“This is the only way we will achieve the ambitious goal of halving road deaths and injuries by 2030,” he said.
To this end, Guterres urged countries to rededicate themselves to the implementation of UN road safety conventions.
He lauded a recent resolution of the UN General Assembly, which proclaimed a second Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2021 to 2030.
The UN chief called for support for the efforts of his Special Envoy for Road Safety and for the UN Road Safety Fund.
“As we remember the victims of road traffic collisions, let us commit to re-imagining ways to move around the world that are safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable for all everywhere,” he said.