New WHO manual aims to strengthen pedestrian safety

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The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners launched a revised manual to help decision makers curb the scourge of pedestrian deaths and injuries in road traffic crashes today.

Walking brings health, transport and environmental benefits, but roads remain unsafe for pedestrians everywhere. Over 310 000 pedestrians were killed in crashes 2016accounting for 23% of all global deaths. Per kilometre travelled, pedestrians face a nine times higher risk of death than car occupants.

The proportion of pedestrians killed compared with other road users is highest in the WHO African Region, at 40%, and lowest in the WHO South-East Asian Region at 14%. Yet pedestrian deaths and injuries are under-reported in many countries.

Pedestrian collisions are predictable and preventable, and it is crucial that authorities put evidence-based laws, frameworks and actions in place to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries. The latest Pedestrian Safety Manual offers new case studies, data and guidance for decision-makers with a focus on low and middle-income countries, where nine-in-ten of all road crash deaths occur.

The manual was launched at the Network of African Road Safety Legislators Meeting in Kampala, Uganda. Hosted by Uganda’s Parliamentary Forum on Road Safety with the African Union, in collaboration with The World Bank Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the UN Environment Programme and WHO, legislators from 10 African countries are meeting to strengthen and align national legislation to meet the United Nations global target of halving road crash deaths by 2030.

The publication is part of a series of manuals that are co-produced by WHO, the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), the FIA Foundation and the World Bank, with financial support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.