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St Lucia gears up to launch prolonged road safety campaign

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Contact: Kerwin Xavier


Thursday 5 May 2011  Saint Lucia will next week Wednesday join the rest of the world in launching a prolonged road safety campaign.   On March 2, 2010,  governments the world over took the historic decision to increase action to address the road safety crisis over the next ten years.


At the May 2 meeting,  over 170 countries met to discuss the nearly 1.3 million lives lost to road traffic deaths and injuries annually.


The “Decade of Action” aims to save lives by halting the increasing trends in road traffic deaths and injuries world wide.


Saint Lucia's representative, national epidemiologist Dr. Alina Jaime, says, subsequent to a meeting in Peru, in preparation for the 2nd Global Report on Road Safety, it was felt that serious action is needed to be taken in order to reduce the number of road related deaths globally.


“Therefore the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon asked countries to observe a decade of  action for road safety.  So here in Saint Lucia we will launch this decade on Wednesday  11th of May  together with every country around the world.”


During the meeting, member states of the United Nations General Assembly committed actions in areas such as developing and enforcing legislation on key risks factors including  limited speed, reducing drunk driving,  increasing the use of seat belts, child restraints, and motor cycle helmets.


Efforts will also be undertaken to improve emergency trauma care, upgrade road and vehicle safety standards, promote road safety education, and enhance road safety management generally.


On the local front, and ahead of the Wednesday's launch, the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Family Affairs, National Mobilization and Gender Relations, is conducting a number of consultations with various stakeholders to finalize Saint Lucia's programme of activities for this decade of action.


The decade is expected to run officially from Wednesday May 11th , 2011 to May 2020.


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