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The number was announced at a meeting held by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on April 25.
Vietnam will mark the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week from May 8 to 14. Launched by the government and the United Nations in Vietnam, the week will focus on speed and what can be done to address this key risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries.
“Every year in Vietnam, the lives of thousands of families are torn apart by the loss of a child to a road accident that could have been prevented,” said Mr. Jesper Moller, acting UNICEF Representative. “Our own individual behavior as road users can have an impact on stemming the tide of child road injury. Slowing down as a driver is the first thing we can do that can save the lives of children.”
The lives of approximately 1.25 million people worldwide are cut short every year as a result of a road accident. Between 20 and 50 million more people also suffer non-fatal injuries, often resulting in disability and economic hardship, as road traffic injuries cause considerable economic losses to victims, their families, and to the country as a whole.Vietnam Economic Times
According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, with over 1,900 children dying every year, traffic accidents are the second leading cause of death and serious injury for children, behind drowning, accounting for 27 per cent of deaths in the 0-19 age group. Among adolescents aged 15-19, traffic accidents remain the leading cause of death, at 50 per cent.
“Speeding is a major risk factor for road traffic crashes in Vietnam” said Dr. Lokky Wai, WHO Representative in Vietnam, highlighting the fact that traffic injuries are largely preventable.
“By slowing down, observing speed limits appropriate for the roads and not speeding, we make roads safer for all,” he added. “Reducing the average speed by just 5 km/h can help cut fatal accidents by 30 per cent.”
The United Nations in Vietnam calls for setting and enforcing more appropriate speed limits in the country. Specifically, it strongly recommends policy makers set a 50 km/h limit in urban areas and 30 km/h for areas where children, pedestrians, cyclists or other vulnerable road users are commonly present, such as residential and schools areas.
Roundabouts and speed humps should be built to support the call.
WHO and UNICEF collaborate closely with the NTSC and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to raise awareness and promote firm action against speeding and other major road safety risks.