Heze City police in the Shandong province of China recently aired accident footage from traffic cameras as a public service announcement to raise awareness for road safety. The 12-minute video of gruesome and violent images is further proof of the importance of road safety education, sound road infrastructure, proper signage, strict law enforcement and comprehensive road safety policies and laws. Watch the video here.
According to Ben Welle, assistant project manager of Health and Road Safety at EMBARQ (the producer of this blog,) the video is an important reminder of not only education but also of road design. “Looking at the video, it isn’t a surprise that over 1.2 million people die every year in traffic crashes,” Welle says. “There’s a lot of chaos there, and it really shouts out the need to address safety not only through education and better enforcement, but in designing these roads to prevent crashes from ever occurring.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 3,500 people die on the world’s roads every day. This staggering number of people affected by dangerous roads only grows once we consider those people who are also seriously injured or disabled as a result of traffic accidents. The most vulnerable victims of road negligence are pedestrians and cyclists, and yet, simple low-cost engineering measures, like crosswalks or dedicated bike lanes, can save thousands of lives, according to the WHO. In response to these trends, the U.N. General Assembly proclaimed that 2011-2020 will be the “Decade of Action for Road Safety.”
The same solutions to address road fatalities can also be those that reduce congestion. Says Welle: “It also shows that when pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists are hit by motor vehicle drivers, whether it is their own fault or not, it is much more violent and deadly, so strategies to reduce the cars on the road can help address this issue at the very root.”
Such incidents are obviously not unique to Heze City. We recently highlighted incidents of road fatalities in Washington, D.C. and Porto Alegre, Brazil.
To learn more about road fatality prevention and safe road usage tips, please read the WHO’s World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention.