Launch Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020

Road Safety

Globally, each year nearly 1.3 million people die as a result of road traffic accidents that cause more than 3000 deaths each day. Between twenty to fifty million more people suffer non-fatal injuries from an accident, and these injuries are an important cause of disability worldwide. The majority of those affected are young people in developing countries. Road traffic crashes are tragedies, tragedies that throw families into despair and poverty.

The UN General Assembly in March 2010, provides a framework to countries and communities to increase action to save lives on the roads, where World Health Organization is the coordinator. The Plan provides an overall framework for activities which may take place in the context of the Decade. The "five pillars" of activities are: 1) building road safety management capacity; 2) improving the safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks; 3) further developing the safety of vehicles; 4) enhancing the behavior of road users; and 5) improving post-crash care. These activities were launched on 11 May 2011, the date set to kick off the Decade.

In Dili, the launching event was conducted by the Cruz Vermelha de Timor Leste (CVTL) or Red Cross of Timor Leste, in collaboration with the National Police of Transport, and supported by the World Health Organization and Australian Red Cross.

In his speech, the Minister of Health Dr Nelson Martins, informed that the number of accidents in 2010 were about 2281 accidents. The data was from the hospitals. Most of accidents were caused by human behavior about 90% and than 10% affected by the other causes. The Government of Timor-Leste declared that through efforts of relevant ministries and police department, hopefully Timor-Leste can reduce accidents, injuries and fatality in this decade from 2011-2020.

Following formal session there was simulation on road safety, where a pedestrian crossing the road was hit by a car and immediately assisted by first aid. There were also other activities distribution stickers, posters and wristband; road safety quiz by the CVTLS Volunteers and National Police of Transport; and a new song of road safety created local band.

WHO expected that the Governments leaders from relevant ministry to undertake their responsible in each pillar of activities, i.e. Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Secretariat State of Sport and Youth and relevant Civil Society and NGOs to reduce number of accidents where caused injury and fatality.