Save Lives #SlowDown: Take the pledge!

Courier Correspondent
Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mikael H Winther addressing the rally in city


We We all agree that we want to arrive safely at our destination. We make our roads safer for our children, families and friends by slowing down.


Research shows that a 5 percent cut in average speed can result in a 30 percent reduction in the number of fatal road traffic crashes. Road traffic crashes will fall and we will be able save many lives when the world commits to #SlowDown and implements evidence based solutions.


Speed management campaigns serve many functions. They not only help people learn about the dangers of speeding, but also about the penalties they may face if they break speed limit laws.


Signs, road markings and global positioning systems in vehicles help people know the appropriate speed limits set for any given road. Such campaigns offer practical reasons to #SlowDown.


Dignitaries from around the world including the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Margaret Chan released video statements to mark the opening of the 4th United Nations Global Road Safety Week that took place from May 8-14.


The week was observed along the theme of ‘speed management’ this year. The key message orientates around the slogan:


Save Lives: #SlowDown.


“We are here to talk about speed; speed is at the core of the road traffic injury problem. 1 in 3 road traffic deaths occur because someone has been driving too fast,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization.


The week  focused on speed and what can be done to address this key risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries. Speed contributes to around one-third of all fatal road traffic crashes in high-income countries, and up to half in low- and middle-income countries.

Countries successfully reducing road traffic deaths have done so by prioritising safety when managing speed.


Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mikael Hemniti Winther, on May 13, participated in a motorbike rally in the city to promote road safety awareness in the city.


The Ambassador, accompanied by his wife Ratanawadee Winther, drove a bike through the city leading a rally of over a hundred motorbikers who carried safety messages for public awareness. Winther is the chairperson of AIP Foundation Thailand, an international NGO which works for promoting road safety.


The rally was arranged by Brac to observe the UN Global Road Safety Week. Later the ambassador attended a ceremony at Mohakhali Bus Stand where drivers pledged to keep to a speed limit of 30km per hour within city and residential areas.


In September 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. If these Goals are completed, it would mean an end to extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. A specific stand-alone target (3.6) within the Health Goal, is to reduce road traffic fatalities: “By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.”


Our governments have set a very ambitious target to save lives. The road safety target within the Global Goals is only going to work if we fight for it. So, slowing down starts with you. Let us pledge to #SlowDown and save lives.


Reported by AKM Moinuddin

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