OCTOBER 30th 2008
Vietnamese children march for 'Road Safety Decade'
Hollywood movie star Michelle Yeoh and 2000 children will bring Ho Chi Minh City's traffic to a halt today (30) to urge the United Nations to support a Decade of Action for Road Safety.
Global road fatalities are set to double in coming years unless urgent action is taken now to improve road safety in rapidly motorizing countries.
In response to calls from the Make Roads Safe campaign the UN will hold a first ever global governmental conference on road safety, next year in Moscow, to tackle this rapidly growing epidemic.
Now the Make Roads Safe campaign is calling on governments to support a Decade of Action for Road Safety, modeled on the current UN Decade to Roll Back Malaria, in a bid to prevent the worst predictions of road deaths and injuries.
Already 1.3 million people are killed on the world's roads each year, a toll set to increase to 2.4 million by 2030 according to World Health Organization predictions.
Campaign ambassador Michelle Yeoh, star of movies including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Tomorrow Never Dies and Mummy 3, will today join 2000 young children in a march organized by the AIP Foundation (Asia Injury Prevention Foundation) through the main street of Vietnam's biggest city to launch the Make Roads Safe campaign's demand for a decade of sustained global action. Vietnam is a prime example of the many countries around the world that are experiencing rapid growth in vehicle use, matched by equally dramatic increases in road deaths and injuries.
Michelle Yeoh, Make Roads Safe Ambassador, said:
"Today, tomorrow and every day, we will see at least 2000 young children killed or seriously injured on the world's roads. This is unacceptable, preventable and we have to stop it. We have the vaccines for this disease: helmets, seatbelts, speed enforcement, safe road design. We just need to use them. Our call for a Decade of Action for Road Safety will focus attention on what can be achieved if the political will is there".
Greig Craft, President of the AIP Foundation, said:
"By successfully implementing and enforcing a mandatory motorcycle helmet law Vietnam has demonstrated that it is possible to bring down deaths and injuries on the roads. A sustained effort of this kind over ten years by governments, the private sector and NGOs as part of a Decade of Action could save millions of lives here in Asia alone".
The Make Roads Safe campaign is calling for a global effort to tackle the worldwide road deaths epidemic. Visit www.MakeRoadsSafe.org
For more information contact:
Saul Billingsley, Campaign Coordinator, on + 44 207 747 5180 or + 44 780 398 7250
AIP Foundation contact:
Mirjam Sidik, Executive Director, on +84 909 537 696 or +84 8 62991409