WHO partnership launches pedestrian safety manual

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Ahead of United Nations Global Road Safety Week 6-12 May 2013, the WHO, the FIA Foundation, the Global Road Safety Partnership and the World Bank have released Pedestrian safety: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners. The manual is the sixth in a series of manuals on key aspects of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.

The launch of the manual coincides with UN Global Road Safety Week which has pedestrian safety as its theme. To support the Week, and to call for road safety to become part of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, a global campaigning activity called The Long Short Walk is being launched.

Groups and members of the public taking part in UN Global Road Safety Week events, and beyond, will hold Long Short Walks sharing their photos and videos on social media.  The Long Short Walk is led by the Make Roads Safe campaign together with the family of Nelson Mandela, whose great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela was killed in a road crash aged 13. Long Short Walk activities are being carried out in partnership with the WHO and NGOs around the world. The Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety is one key partner.

Each year, more than 270,000 pedestrians lose their lives on the world’s roads and millions are injured. Globally, pedestrians constitute 22% of all road traffic fatalities, and in some countries this proportion is as high as two thirds of all road traffic deaths.

The new manual provides information on: the magnitude of pedestrian death and injury; key risk factors; how to assess the pedestrian safety situation in a country or area and prepare an action plan; and how to select, design, implement and evaluate effective interventions. The manual stresses the importance of a comprehensive, holistic approach that includes enforcement, engineering and education. It also draws attention to the benefits of walking, which should be promoted as an important mode of transport given its potential to improve health and preserve the environment.

The manual, which is designed for a multidisciplinary audience including engineers, planners, police, public health professionals and educators, will contribute towards strengthening national and local capacity to implement pedestrian safety measures in settings worldwide.

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