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  • 4/4/2004

World Health Day 2004: road safety

Road traffic injuries are a deadly scourge, taking the lives of 1.2 million men, women and children around the world each year. Hundreds of thousands more are injured on our roads, some of whom become permanently disabled. The vast majority of these occur in developing countries, among pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and users of public transport, many of whom would never be able to afford a private motor vehicle.

Yet the knowledge currently exists to take action on a number of fronts to prevent these needless deaths and disabilities, and the immense loss and suffering they cause. Many programmes and policies exist to prevent road traffic crashes. They include strategies to address rates of speed and alcohol consumption; promotion of helmets and seat belts and other restraints; and greater visibility of people walking and cycling. A concerted effort on the part of governments and their partners to improve road safety can make a world of difference.

World Health Day is celebrated annually on the 7th of April. The theme for World Health Day 2004 is Road Safety. On this day around the globe, hundreds of organizations will host events to help raise awareness about road traffic injuries, their grave consequences and enormous costs to society. They will also contribute to spreading the word that such injuries can be prevented. We invite you to join WHO and these many organizations to celebrate World Health Day 2004. Together we can contribute to this world of difference.

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