69th World Health Assembly adopts resolution to prevent road traffic deaths and injuries


World Health Organization- For the first time since 2004, the annual World Health Assembly adopted a new resolution on road safety on 28 May 2016. Resolution WHA69.7 on "Addressing the challenges of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020): outcome of the second Global High-level Conference on Road Safety - Time for Results" recognizes that urgent action is needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.6 to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2020. The resolution requests Member States to: • Accelerate implementation of the outcome document of the 2nd Global High-Level Conference on Road Safety 2011-2020 held in November 2015, namely the "Brasilia Declaration on Road Safety", noted as a call to rethink transport policies in order to favour more sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling and using public transport; • Ensure that their national strategies and plans address the needs of those who are most vulnerable on the roads: children,youth,older people and people with disabilities; • Adopt and enforce laws on the key risk factors, including speeding, drinking and driving, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints and others related to distracted or impaired driving; • Make roads safer through infrastructural modifications; • Ensure that vehicles are equipped with life-saving technologies; • Enhance emergency trauma care systems, including by implementing a single emergency national access number; • Improve prevention and emergency medicine training programmes for health sector professionals; and • Enhance the quality of road safety data. In addition a key request to WHO, in collaboration with other partners, is to continue to facilitate a process to develop voluntary global performance targets on key risk factors and service delivery mechanisms. WHO is also requested to: • Continue to provide technical support to countries to implement evidence-based policies and practices, including on trauma care and rehabilitation; • Maintain and strengthen evidence-based approaches to advocacy for road safety; • Facilitate the organization of activities for the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week to be held in May 2017. The commitments noted in WHA69.7 reinforce those reflected in UN General Assembly resolution A/70/L.44 "Improving global road safety", adopted in New York in April 2016. Road traffic deaths and injuries are a major health and development concern. WHO's Global status report on road safety 2015 indicates that worldwide total number of road traffic deaths has plateaued at 1.25 million per year, with the highest road traffic fatality rates in low-income countries. While there has been progress towards improving road safety legislation and enhancing vehicle safety, the pace of change is too slow. Urgent action is needed to achieve the ambitious targets reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In addition to its current wealth of road safety publications and resources, WHO is finalizing a new tool for release in the latter part of 2016. The Save LIVES package of road safety interventions promotes those strategies deemed most effective in reducing road traffic deaths and injuries. The package will help countries and communities to intensify their efforts, achieve the SDG target 3.6 and save millions of lives. World Health Organization.