Global road safety pledge needed from Government say MPs

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An influential report by MPs todaycalls on the Government to honour a financial commitment to support road safety in developing countries.

A report published by the International Development Select Committee has shown that the DfID has gone back on a promise made at a summit back in 2009. At the summit it promised to give road users who are vulnerable to being affected by donor led projects focusing on roadbuilding in developing countries.

The report also goes on to say that road accidents will probably be the single biggest factor causing death in people aged five years or more internationally. In 2009 the body pledged £1.5 million to help reduce the number of road casualties seen in less developed countries. The money was pledged to the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility.

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen is the chairman of the Commission for Global Road Safety, and he has given evidence recently showing how the DFiD failed to give the money that they promised. Executive Secretary of the Commission is David Ward and in he has responded by saying, “the fact that the government has gone back on its commitment is astonishing.

“Road traffic accidents internationally cause more deaths than malaria, this clearly shows that it should be a priority but the government apparently doesn’t see it as such. We should be taking more efforts to tackle this serious international crisis. I would like to thank the Members of Parliament who sit on the Development Select Committee who are reminding the government of their previous pledge.”

The original pledge which the government signed was called the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety. This pledge was to stop some 50 million injuries on the roads and prevent 5 million deaths over the next decade.

During the launch of the Decade of Action earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron said that reducing the death rate in developing countries must be an “urgent priority for the international community”.

The International Development Select Committee report said that in reviewing the evidence it had been “struck by the high burden of deaths caused by road traffic accidents in developing countries”. The Committee now intends to carry out a fuller inquiry into DfID’s support for road safety, the report says.

 

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