Roads Kill Kids

A new report by Kevin Watkins tries to make visible the horrifying threat to children's health that road traffic presents. It is the leading cause of death globally for young people between the ages of 10 and 24, reports Sarah Goodyear.

What should be the most pressing issue for those concerned about the welfare of the world's children? Malaria? HIV/AIDS? Access to clean water?

According to the new report "Safe and Sustainable Roads: An Agenda for Rio+20," authored by Kevin Watkins, a non-resident senior research fellow at the Brookings Institute, and published by the Campaign for Global Road Safety, road traffic is the world's silent killer of children. "The sheer scale of the road traffic injury epidemic is not widely recognised. There is a widespread tendency to see that epidemic in terms of isolated and unpredictable events -- as ‘accidents' that befall unlucky individuals. In fact, there is nothing unpredictable about road traffic injuries. And the ‘road accident' vocabulary deflects attention from the systemic nature of the risks that claim so many, many lives," argues the report.

"The economic costs of all these traffic-related fatalities, in terms of lost income, lost educational opportunities, and health care expenditures, are massive. And yet there is no philanthropist stepping in with a huge check to fund prevention of traffic deaths, the way Bill Gates has with malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis. Instead, world financial institutions have pumped billions of dollars into road infrastructure, while dedicating only a tiny fraction of that to road safety," writes Goodyear.

Full Story: Road Traffic 'Single Biggest Source of Fatality' for Young People Worldwide

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95