MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) - The global annual road traffic fatality rate could grow to a projected figure of 1.9 million people by 2020 from the current 1.2 million if countries do not toughen road safety laws, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday.
“There has been no overall reduction in the number of people killed on the world’s roads: about 1.24 million deaths occur annually,” the WHO said in its new report published Thursday.
The global health body said in its Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013 that 88 countries in which almost 1.6 billion people live “reduced the number of deaths on their roads between 2007 and 2010, showing that improvements are possible.”
“However, of concern is that 87 countries saw increases in the numbers of road traffic deaths over the same period,” according to the report, which also shows that the highest road traffic fatality rates are in middle-income countries, particularly the African region.
“Only 28 countries, representing 449 million people [7 percent of the world’s population], have adequate laws that address all five risk factors [speed, drink-driving, helmets, seat-belts and child restraints],” the WHO also said.
In Russia, some 30,000 people die in traffic accidents annually. The accidents are attributed to the poor condition of roads and traffic violations, including reckless and drunk driving.
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