Thursday, 18 June 2009

WHO: Cars set to kill more than AIDS or TB within two decades

According to a report in the New York Times, traffic incidents are the ninth leading cause of death worldwide.

A new survey from the World Health Organisation reckons 1.3 million people die each year on the world's roads, and about half of them are pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists.

And it's getting worse: the report reckons traffic will be the fifth biggest cause of death within 20 years, killing more people than either AIDS or TB.

The public health argument for making our streets safer couldn't be clearer.

We need to persuade more people to leave their cars at home by improving access to affordable, improved, public transport networks.

We need safer road networks for cyclists and pedestrians.

But perhaps most importantly of all, we need the Government and council to find the political courage to take on the motorists' lobby and adopt road safety and improving public transport as top priorities.

To paraphrase the late MP Gwyneth Dunwoody, 'the car is the weapon of choice by which the rich kill the poor in this country'.

We can, and really must, change that.

1 comment:

  1. comparing death rates in this way is a cheap and nasty way of highlighting an important point-- why mention aids or tb at all? Just let the statistics speak for itself.
    Mind you, the WHO report is riddled with that sensationalised facts.
    And why is Department of Violence & Injury Prevention & Disability (VIP) so called? It gives disability as bad name....