On May 11, 2011 pursuant to a General Assembly resolution adopted on March 2, 2010, the international community has proclaimed the beginning of the Decade for Action on Road Safety (2011 - 2020).
The quality of road equipment, reliable transportation and tolerant behavior of road users is a good indicator of achievements of each country and culture of a nation.
However, the data of the World Health Organization and other international organizations show the outrageous situation with road safety in most states. More than 1 million 300 thousand people die and about 50 million are injured in the world due to road accidents every year. According to international health experts, if no urgent action is taken by 2020, road accidents will become the main cause of death worldwide, leaving behind cardiovascular disease and AIDS.
It is sad but by the rate of deaths from road accidents Ukraine ranks fifth in Europe. According to the official statistics, 4709 people died and 38 917 were injured in traffic accidents last year. Every third victim was a young person under the age of 29. With deep sadness we state that under such circumstances we actually lose the base of economic potential of the state on the roads.
Aside from the irremediable human tragedies, the failure to maintain order on the roads causes the deterioration of the country's image and considerable material damage. According to the World Bank estimates, Ukrainian economy’s losses from road accidents amount to $5 billion annually. The situation on the roads in Ukraine has become today a major threat to national security.
Being aware of the responsibility for the urgent resolution of problems in this area before the society, willing to guarantee constitutional human rights and freedoms and proper conditions of life, I demand taking decisive action to prevent the catastrophic consequences of traffic accidents and call on all the public authorities, political parties, movements, NGOs and citizens of Ukraine to support the abovementioned Global Initiative of the United Nations.
I believe that together, relying on the progressive international experience, we can curb this "undeclared war" at our home. I am convinced that the main guarantee of success on the specified path is the elaboration of legal framework and law enforcement activities of the competent authorities.
The key event of the present will be the first in the world practice Interparliamentary meeting on the effectiveness of road traffic legislation, to be held in Kyiv in November 2011. This is a unique opportunity to inform the politicians of Europe and the world about the decisions to overcome the crisis in the area of traffic safety at the regional and global levels.
I would like to inform that as President I have already instructed the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to take measures necessary for organizing the related work in the current year and formulating the future activities for the next decade.
At the same time, in my view, no government institution initiatives can be successful without the broad public support. The attention and non-indifference of each of us – daily road users – to strict compliance with the established rules of behavior of a driver, pedestrian, or passenger, as well as culture and politeness will, of course, ensure achievement of the set goal – saving human lives.
Let’s begin this work today.
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