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First Ministerial Summit on Road Safety

1 April 2008

What is the common thread linking 32 year-old Margaret Oduku and nine members of a Kenyan church choir to 57 people travelling on a bus in Guatemala, and a 14-year-old schoolboy waiting for a bus in Delhi ? They have all been killed recently in traffic accidents. Traffic death and injury is a global pandemic in which more than 1.2 million lives are lost annually; another 50 million people suffer debilitating injury. And most of the victims live in developing countries.

Kevin Watkins writing in The Guardian reports: "Traffic accident" is a euphemism for the gross negligence that perpetuates this carnage; far from being unpredictable and unavoidable, most traffic-related injuries could be prevented through simple, cheap safety strategies.

Next week the UN general assembly will vote on convening the first ministerial summit on road safety.