UN Namibia pledges to #slowdown to promote road safety

In light of the Fourth United Nations Global Road Safety Week (UNGRSW), the UN System in Namibia joined the private sector in Windhoek to rally support for the “Save Lives: #SlowDown” campaign.

The Fourth UNGRSW started on 8 May and will run until 14 May 2017. It seeks to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and generate action to address this major risk for road traffic death and injury.

As part of an interactive street exhibition, the UN System set up a stand at the event alongside other stakeholders. UN Staff members as well as members of the public made pledges to #slowdown.

The UN Resident Coordinator Kiki Gbeho emphasized the importance of Road Safety Week, saying, “In Africa, road traffic accidents are one of the biggest killers, and it is the same here in Namibia. So, today is to kick off almost a year long series of events to raise awareness and to try and change behavior,” she said.

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. Statistics show that a 5% cut in average speed can result in a 30% reduction in the number of fatal road accidents.

The RC pledged her support along with colleagues from the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), the Office of the Resident Coordinator, the World Health Organization (WHO) Namibia and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek.

Horst Heimstädt, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Private Sector Road Safety Forum, explained that this week is only a starting point.

“As deaths from traffic accidents are extremely high in Namibia, we want to carry the momentum of Road Safety Week throughout the year. For this reason, we will be continuing to encourage Namibians to drive safely and to slow down,” he said.

Road safety is on the UN’s agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has set a target of halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020.

However, without a united effort, this ambitious target will not be achieved. Everyone can take the pledge to slowdown which can be readily accessed here: http://bit.ly/2lNrvzy