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New Report reveals less than half of countries apply minimum UN safety standards

4 November 2015

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on governments around the world to apply the UN’s most important vehicle safety regulations.

In its 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety the WHO reveals “worrying data showing that less than half of countries implement minimum standards” and warns that “Governments have a responsibility to take the steps needed to ensure their citizens have access to safe vehicles”.

Using seven priority vehicle safety standards recommended by Global NCAP, the WHO has carried out a unique survey on how they are currently being applied by governments around the world. The seven standards are from the UN’s World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations and cover seat belts, seat belt anchorages, front and side impact, electronic stability control, pedestrian protection and child seats. The results show that they are being fully applied by only 40 out of a total of 193 UN Member States and overwhelmingly by high-income countries.

The Report argues that “there is an urgent need for these minimum vehicle standards to be implemented by every country”. The WHO is worried that “these standards are notably absent in many of the large middle income countries that are major car manufacturers” now responsible for almost 50% of world passenger car production which reached a record level of 67 million units last year.

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