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Russia convenes First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety

November 19, 2009 - MOSCOW

Russian President Dimitri Medvedev opens the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, a meeting co-chaired by the World Health Organization. Road safety is a headline issue in most countries, and Russia's road accident mortality rate is the highest in Europe. A 2007 British Medical Journal article describes road traffic injuries are a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 1.2 million deaths annually. It adds that for every road traffic death, some 20 people are injured.

Russian President Dimitri Medvedev opens the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, a meeting co-chaired by the World Health Organization. Road safety is a headline issue in most countries, and Russia's road accident mortality rate is the highest in Europe. A 2007 British Medical Journal article describes road traffic injuries are a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 1.2 million deaths annually. It adds that for every road traffic accident death, some 20 people are injured. Ministers of health, transport, education, foreign affairs and others; UN agency representatives; nongovernmental and business leaders; and road safety experts will address the "global impact of road traffic crashes, [particularly] in low and middle income countries." The organizers hope that a declaration signed by the participating countries at the conclusion of the November conference will lead the UN General Assembly in 2010 to declare a Decade of Action on Road Safety. The American Public Health Association (APHA), which represents more than 50,000 health professionals in the United States, has launched an online letter-writing campaign to President Barak Obama and legislators in support of the proposed Decade of Action. In a connected move, 10 US organizations have signed on to a letter to President Obama from US Make Roads Safe Chair Norman Mineta, a former Transportation Secretary, urging that a high-level US delegation participate in the Moscow conference. The organizations include: America Automobile Association, AAA Foundation, American Association of State Highway and Transport Engineers , American Public Transportation Association, Governors Highway Safety Association, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Mothers Against Drink Driving, Safe Kids Worldwide and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Aug/09 CONTACT: Decade of Action contactsminkeyl@who.int

First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety

Medvedev calls for safer roads (Euronews 7 Aug 2009)

Preventing the leading cause of death in young people in Europe (BMJ 5 Jun 2007)

President Medvedev to hold meeting on road safety in Russia (ITAR-TASS 6 Aug 2009)

Drink-drive deaths rose last year (Telegraph 6 Aug 2009)

Date written/update: 2009-11-19