Published On: Thu, May 11th, 2017

PAHO recommends urgent action to save lives on Caribbean roads

AccidentWASHINGTON – Tragic road deaths across the Caribbean could be significantly reduced if authorities beef up traffic management, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has concluded.

And the global body is recommending the lowering of speed limits, the installation of more speed bumps and the construction of roundabout among speed management measures.

According to PAHO/WHO Regional Advisor on Road Safety Eugenia Rodriguez, “the region of the Americas has made progress in adopting standards that limit speed in urban areas, but it needs to further strengthen the application of these standards to reduce deaths and injuries due to traffic accidents”.

In a report on Road Safety in the Region of the Americas, PAHO noted that 17 countries in the Americas have already set maximum speed limits of less than 50 km/h in urban areas and 13 have given local authorities the green light to reduce limits even further.

PAHO stressed that speed limits must be accompanied by strict compliance.

“Control at the local level is important, so lower speed limits can be set in populated or vulnerable areas such as those near schools or health facilities,” PAHO said. “However, laws on speed limits must be accompanied by strict compliance, so that they are effective and thus save lives.”

Activities marking the fourth UN Global Road Safety Week got underway on Monday.

The week and its related campaign, “Save Lives: #SlowDown”, will draw attention to the dangers of speed and the measures which should be put in place to address this leading risk for road traffic deaths and injuries, PAHO said.

It said more than 20 countries in the Americas are carrying out information and awareness activities for decision-makers and authorities of traffic-regulating institutions, as well as for the general public.

Activities include dissemination of messages in media and social networks, transport systems, and schools such as road safety fairs, presentations in public places, signage work in urban areas, and promotion of commitments by local authorities to reduce speed limits.

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