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UN officials join call to end ‘scourge’ of preventable deaths

Road traffic accidents take some 1.35 million lives every year and cost most countries three per cent of their gross domestic product, the top UN health official said last week at the Third Global Ministerial Conference On Road Safety in Stockholm, Sweden.

The millions of lives lost every year due to road traffic collisions is “an outrage”, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “It is an unacceptable price to pay for mobility”.

Moreover, 93 per cent of the world’s road fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these nations have approximately 60 per cent of the world’s vehicles.

“Most road traffic deaths and injuries can be prevented, using tried and tested strategies,” stated the WHO chief.

“This conference is an opportunity for the world to embrace a new agenda to radically reduce the number of lives lost on our roads and re-think how we can provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all.”

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