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Few countries have adequate road safety laws

A new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that only 28 countries, covering 7% of the world’s population, have comprehensive laws addressing all five key risk factors for road traffic death and injury.

According to WHO, these risk factors are:

  • drinking and driving,
  • speeding,
  • failing to use motorcycle helmets,
  • failing to use seat-belts, and
  • failing to use child restraints.

In 2010, there were 1.24 million deaths worldwide from road traffic crashes, roughly the same number as in 2007. The report shows that while 88 Member States were able to reduce the number of road traffic fatalities, the number increased in 87 countries.

WHO claims that the key to reducing road traffic mortality will be ensuring that as many Member States as possible have in place laws covering the five key risk factors listed above.

The report also highlights that most countries – even some of the best performing in terms of the safety of their roads – indicate that enforcement of these laws is inadequate.