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Connections is a weekly series of knowledge notes from the World Bank Group’s Transport & Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Global Practice. It covers projects, experiences, and front-line developments.
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The Cost of Inaction: Can We Afford Not to Invest in Road Safety?(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-05) Bose, Dipan ; Marquez, Patricio V. ; Job, SoamesRoad crashes are among the most significant public health issues of the century; they account for 97 percent of deaths across all modes of transport. The latest WHO estimate of 1.34 million road crash deaths and up to 50 million injuries per year reflects a slight increase in deaths over previous years, with 90 percent of these deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries. Further road injury disproportionately affects young adults 15–29 years old: it is the lead cause of death during their most productive years. Along with the unquantifiable loss of life, and pain,grief and suffering, there is a direct burden to society from disabilities, deaths, and the economic hardships they bring. The devastating impact is not only felt by the victim’s family, where the disability or death of a breadwinner can drive a household into poverty; it also affects the overall economy. Overall productivity and quality of life is affected when otherwise healthy individuals are disabled or die. Crashes also place a burden on emergency response, medical treatment, and rehabilitation services in addition to loss of labor productivity, affecting the quality of life of the overall population.
Reducing Road Deaths: An Urgent Development Goal(World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2015-04) Bose, DipanIn 2010, more than 100 countries co-sponsored a landmark resolution by the United Nation (UN) General Assembly - a decade of action for road safety to stabilize and then reduce forecasted global traffic fatalities by 2020. From 1980 to 2010, road fatalities as a share of population rose about 13 percent worldwide, but they rose by more than 75 percent in developing East Asia (including China) and by 66 percent in South Asia (including India). Awareness and advocacy have strengthened over the past five years, but these data suggest that developing countries, especially in the middle-income group, will fail to attain the 2020 goal set by the decade of action. Now midway to the end of that decade, countries are set to meet in Brazil in November to discuss ways to accelerate progress toward the 2020 goal. The World Bank has ramped up its funding and focused on supporting stronger road safety management, including enforcement capacity, vehicle safety, data management systems, and engagement with civil societies and the private sector.