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UN Global Road Safety Week gets boost from Schumie
Creation date: 02 May 2007
German motor racing legend Michael Schumacher, along with British prime minister Tony Blair have teamed up to demand a United Nations conference about tackling global road deaths.
Blair said road crashes were the second biggest cause of death for young men after HIV/AIDS and seven-times Formula 1 World champion Schumacher said the international community needed "to wake up to the horrific waste of life".
In 2002 (the most recent year for which UN figures are available), 1.2 million people of all ages died on the world's roads: including 1000 young people a day, and between 20-50 million were injured.
Schumacher was in London to join British road safety organisations in marking the start of the UN's Global Road Safety Week (23-27 April 2007) by launching a worldwide petition calling for a UN conference, while Blair's comments came in a video statement. Mr Blair said: "Every minute of every day a child is killed or seriously injured on the world's roads. In some African countries more than 70 percent of those killed on the roads are young breadwinners; it is becoming clear that road injury has a serious impact on the wider development goals we are all trying to achieve."
Schumacher said: "A thousand young people under the age of 25 die every day on the roads.
"Road crashes kill on the scale of malaria or tuberculosis yet the international community has not woken up to this horrific waste of life."
He said he strongly supported the UN conference proposal "to tackle this preventable loss of life".
Road Safety Week
The First United Nations Global Road Safety Week was called for in the October 2005 United Nations General Assembly resolution A/60/5 on Improving global road safety. The resolution invites the United Nations Regional Commissions and the World Health Organization (WHO) to jointly organize the week.
The theme for the Week was "young road users" - as young people constitute a major group at risk of death, injury and disability on the road. While the focus is on young road users, it is hoped that the actions resulting from the Week will benefit road users of all ages. A large number of local, national and international events were hosted all over the world, which included the participation of many partners from governments, United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.
The aim is to raise awareness about the societal impact of road traffic injuries, highlighting the risks for young road users, as well as promote action around key factors which have a major impact on preventing road traffic injuries: helmets, seat-belts, drink driving, speeding and infrastructure.
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