On Wednesday, May 19, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was joined by US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and FocusDriven founder and President Jennifer Smith. Together they announced a Global Call to Action on Ending Distracted Driving.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urgently insisted “We Must Instill a Culture of Road Safety.”
He then proceeded to give some statistics on car fatalities:
- 1.2 million people around the world die in car accidents
- Nearly 50,000,000 injuries
- 90% are from low or little income countries
Car accidents are now the top global killer of young people ages 15-19 with factors that include:
- High speeds
- Drunk driving
- No seat belt or child restraint used
- No motorcycle helmet used
The General Secretary stated that, "Use of a mobile phone while driving increases the risk of a crash by 4 times, (while in) some countries 90% of drivers report using mobile phones while driving.
"Culturally," he said, "We must make 'distracted driving unacceptable' by the government and socially unacceptable to the public.
“I want every driver in the world to get the message, ‘Texting while driving kills.’”
The UN initiative will work to promote road safety and while prohibiting nearly 40,000 UN employees from texting while driving UN vehicles. The UN General Assembly has also declared a “Decade of Action for Road Safety,” including a message to all drivers of the world; “Don’t let using a mobile for a few seconds make you and others immobile for life.”
The US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice continued to say that in the US in 2008, nearly 6,000 people died in distracted driving crashes, but the statistics are hard to come by, since it isn't always readily apparent the reason why the accident took place.
She also said that studies by researchers at the University of Utah show that using a cell phone while driving delays a driver’s reactions as much as having alcohol in your blood up to the legal limit of 0.8%.
Hi Vis Supply concerns itself with all matters pertaining to roadways, particularly with that of roadside construction, and increasingly that of distracted driving, and believe that awareness will lead to prevention in the US and across the globe.