Annals of Health Law
MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT
years, and yet ignoring the largest killer of children aged five to fourteen ( i.e.,
road crashes) is “ethically indefensible.”68
The current cost of road crashes to the individual, the family, and to society
are significant; the number of crashes and people killed and injured is
forecasted to grow. Estimates suggest that from 2008 to 2030, the number of
people killed by road crashes will overtake deaths from HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis, and malaria, combined.69 In a business-as-usual scenario, road
deaths are forecasted to increase by 52 from 2008 to 2030, with an
estimated 2.1 million people killed each and every year.70 This increase
coincides with the growth in the number of motor vehicles globally.71 The
projected change is, however, not uniform. In Africa and Southeast Asia,
where vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and motorcyclists, are most
at risk, traffic injury-related deaths are projected to increase by 127% and
68%, respectively.72 In contrast, a 36% reduction in deaths in the European
Union is anticipated over the same period.73
The recognition of this global epidemic of deaths and injury on our roads
galvanized a global coalition consisting of the WHO, the World Bank, the
FIA Foundation, the Commission for Global Road Safety, and the Global
Road Safety Partnership, among others, into action to promote the concept of
the Decade of Action. This was the key agenda of the international Make
Roads Safe Campaign, a United Kingdom-based not-for-profit partnership.74
As set out in Part III of this article, this campaign, and all that came before it,
resulted in the development and ultimate adoption of U.N. General Assembly
Resolution A/64/255 by the U.N. General Assembly in March 2010 (“U.N.
III. U.N. DECADE OF ACTION FOR ROAD SAFETY 2011-2020:
POLITICS, PRESSURE, AND CALL TO ARMS
The official launch of the Decade of Action on May 11, 2011 should be
viewed as a significant turning point in how governments and civil society
perceive and address road safety. This call to arms, as mandated by U.N.
Resolution A/64/255, represents the first comprehensive multi-national and
68. Id. at 2 (emphasis added).
69. Id.; WHO, PROJECTIONS OF MORTALITY AND BURDEN OF DISEASE, 2002-
2030, available at http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/projections2002/en/
70. WATKINS, supra note 55, at 6.
71. KOPITS & CROPPER, supra note 8, at 1.