Raising awareness of the biggest killer of young people
23 April 2007

Today (23 April) isn't just St George's Day; it's also the start of UN road safety week.All we can say is that we hope the UN is better at creating road safety than it is at promoting it: the UN's own website has barely any information on the campaign.What we have managed to establish is that road traffic crashes have become the leading cause of death among young people. Nearly 400,000 people between the ages of 10 and 24 are killed worldwide each year and millions of others disabled or injured, usually in crashes that are entirely preventable, according to the World Health Organization.More than 100 delegates will attend a two-day World Youth Assembly in Geneva this week "so that young people can share experiences and plan projects to encourage more awareness about the issue," says the UN.The UK's Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is promoting road safety with its new "stopping distances pedestrian injury simulator".While we wouldn't want to play down the awful impact of road deaths, and the crucial importance of road safety, this simulator oversimplifies the issues involved. The simulator doesn't indicate what the speed limit is on its simulated road, and the "driver" has no control over either steering or brakes.

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