To Coincide with May’s recognition as National Youth Traffic Safety Month, The United Nations launched A Decade of Action for Road Safety this morning in Washington DC near the U.S. Capitol.
Over 50 Countries will be taking part in this movement spanning from 2011 through 2020. The idea was first proposed by the Make The Roads Safe Campaign, but now millions throughout the globe from Hollywood and political celebrities to localized civilian advocates will be supporting the movement, if not by their presence in DC, by wearing the official road safety symbol- the Yellow Tag.
Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, the Country’s longest serving Secretary of Transportation is hosting the event. Following the Launch, U.S. Friends of the Decade* will host a Decade of Action for Road Safety Expo in the Rayburn House. There will also be a Congressional Briefing by Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC Director in the Capital Room at 3:30 pm.
Some of the civilian advocates attending the event are Tyler Presnell, who survived a 70 mph crash into a telephone pole when he was 14 years old. Tyler survived 22 surgeries, coming out with a paralyzed left leg. Tyler has devoted his life to educating teens on the importance of wearing a seatbelt. Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson Feldman helped launch a new pedestrian safety law in New Jersey after their 21-year-old daughter, Casey, was killed by a distracted driver. Tim Hollister transformed Connecticut’s teen driver law from one of the most lenient in the nation to one of the strictest after his 17-year-old son, Reid, was killed in an auto accident in 2006.
Road Safety is a hot topic now more than ever because of the increasing amount of road deaths. 1.3 million people are killed in auto accidetns each year, most of these if not all, are preventable. A Decade of Action recognizes that the Key to Prevention is Education. As part of today’s events, U.S. Friends of Road Safety will be screening one of three new Sesame Street Public Services Announcements focused on traffic safety. If we can reach impressionable young minds and educate them on the importance of road safety before they are old enough to get behind the wheel, we can succeed in preventing at least one accident.
*U.S. Friends of the Decade include National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), FIA Foundation, ASIRT, ATSSA, AASHTO, Make Roads Safe, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Governors Highway Safety Association, AARP, SADD, MADD, The Allstate Foundation, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, National Road Safety Foundation, National Safety Council, Operation Lifesaver, International Road Federation (IRF), The National Center for Safe Routes to School, the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, The Casey Feldman Foundation, and many other dedicated organizations and individuals.