"Globally road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for young people, like myself. We have the right, responsibility, and capability to change this situation. This Youth and Road Safety Action Kit is an essential addition to our road safety toolbox.”
Sheila Atieno, 25 years, Kenya.
YOURS has officially published the Youth and Road Safety Action Kit! This is a guide available to all young people around the world and aims to make road safety accessible to youth everywhere.
Why an Action Kit?
Road traffic injuries can be prevented. There is no doubt. Countries like Australia, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have made tremendous progress in making their roads safer. In Vietnam, deaths from road traffic crashes dropped by 12.2% and injuries by 24.3% in just one year in 2008. In São José dos Campos, a city in Brazil, road traffic fatalities decreased significantly between 2007 and 2008. The number of people admitted to hospital as a result of a crash went down, the survival rate of these people went up, and the length of time they stayed in hospital decreased2. This did not happen by magic. Effective measures to make roads safer exist. They include establishing and enforcing laws requiring the use of seatbelts, helmets, and child car seats; mandating speed and drinking and driving limits; enhancing the safety features of roads and vehicles; and improving post-crash care for victims of road crashes.
Road crashes still biggest killer of young people
However, the world is still struggling with increasing road deaths and injuries. We still lose nearly 1.3 million people from road crashes every year. And millions more are left injured. These are not merely statistics. Behind each number is a person, a family, a friend, and a story of how life can change in an instant. Road crashes remain the biggest killer of young people between 15-29 years around the world. More than 1,000 young people lose their lives on the world’s roads every day. All of them are future mothers, fathers, physicians, workers, teachers, and artists. And if each one of them had only two dreams, then we are losing more than 2000 dreams daily.
A Decade of Action
The good news is that the world is no longer turning a blind eye to this crisis. More than 100 governments around the world signed a UN General Assembly resolution that dedicates 10 years, 2011-2020, to road safety. At the same time, more and more young people around the world are recognising the magnitude of the problem. In response, many of us have become active, raising awareness of those around us and encouraging our leaders to take decisive action to prevent road traffic injuries.
"This Youth and Road Safety Action Kit is intended to support this movement, introducing young individuals and organisations to road safety, particularly youth issues, and providing the knowledge we need to implement road safety projects."
The Kit is one of YOURS’ contributions to the Decade of Action. It is YOURS first publication and will be the key document used in our capacity development activities. YOURS will also disseminate the Kit through the global youth network, support its translation into as many languages as possible, and encourage its use and adaptation by young people around the world.
"It is time for us to speak up and have our voices heard. We have a right to be part of the solution not just victims of this crisis. We also have a responsibility to act to prevent further suffering. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, your life is precious. We have to do our part in protecting ourselves and those around us."
The Kit has been produced with the support of Michelin, and the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), with the technical support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention.