Forum News 13.3: Time to Broaden the Transport Safety Debate?
Much has happened since 2001 when Forum News last focused on the issue of safety and rural transport, yet the statistics still paint a bleak picture of both current and predicted trends:
●The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by 2020 road accidents will be the third most important cause of death or disability worldwide.
●More than 85% of road traffic deaths and injuries occur in low income and middle income countries yet they own just 40% of the world’s motor vehicles.
●The global economic cost of road safety is estimated at up to $100 billion. Compared with total bilateral overseas aid amounting to $106.5 billion in 2005.
●It is estimated that over the next 15 years the number of road traffic accident fatalities may rise from 1.2 million to 2.4 million per annum with the increase occurring in developing and transitional countries (Source: www.GRSProadsafety.org).
Until now safety issues in the transport sector have overwhelmingly concentrated on roads, highways and motorised traffic. In this light the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the WHO invited IFRTD to organise a panel to explore the rural dimensions of transport safety, broadening the debate beyond roads, for their 2007 Annual Road Safety Conference in Ghana. Data on road accidents are already scarce (it is estimated that in some countries less than half of the deaths that occur as a result of road traffic accidents are reported) and reliable data on safety issues in rural transport are even harder to find. IFRTD invited five researchers (members of IFRTD) to carry out small, mainly qualitative studies, in India, Peru, Cameroon, Madagascar and Sri Lanka to explore if and how transport safety issues are affecting the lives of women, men and children in rural areas. This issue of Forum News presents the findings of these studies.
Date: February 2007
Date: February 2007
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