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December 7, 2018

Statement from José Luis Castro, President and CEO, on the WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018

The following is a statement from José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies, on the state of global road safety as indicated by the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety, released on December 7, 2018:

“Road traffic deaths and injuries devastate families and communities and harm the economic and cultural growth of developing countries. According to the new Global Status Report, road traffic deaths continue to rise around the world (more than 1.35 million lives lost annually), and road traffic death remains three times higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries. These are tragic findings, given that with the right interventions, road traffic crashes and injuries are entirely preventable. Road traffic crashes are already the world’s number one killer for young people aged 5-29, and are now the eighth leading cause of death across the globe.

One death on the road is one too many. We know what measures work, and the adoption and strict enforcement of best practice legislation – supported by reliable data and hard-hitting media campaigns – can change risky behaviors and save lives in years to come. We urge governments to redouble their efforts to take life-saving action and end suffering for victims and families, many of whom are among the world’s most vulnerable populations.”

Additional background:

The World Health Organization released the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018 on Friday, Dec. 7. The report indicates insufficient progress to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of halving road traffic deaths by 2030. The report is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and serves as a key monitoring tool for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. The report outlines the current status of road safety around the globe and suggests specific actions that should be taken to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities.

About Vital Strategies’ work in road safety:

Vital Strategies is an implementing partner of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety, working closely with governments in 10 cities around the world. In the initiative, Vital Strategies has three roles: serve as the main liaison with the mayor’s offices, supporting them to develop and strengthen their public health systems and mechanisms; lead the work on strengthening surveillance systems and use outcome data to inform policy and action; guide strategic communication and media campaigns to change road user behavior.

For more information Vital Strategies’ work in road safety, please visit:

Media Contact: Christina Honeysett; Vital Strategies:; +1.914.424.3356

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