Go to main content

Road Safety: Handicap International commits to protect children

Explosive weapons

Every 4 minutes, somewhere in the world, a child is the victim of a road traffic accident.  The Child Road Safety in the Americas Congress, organised in collaboration with Handicap International and the United Nations, is to be held in Costa Rica on 7 and 8 May with the aim of improving road safety to better protect children.

Handicap International runs road safety projects in seven countries.

Handicap International runs road safety projects in seven countries. | © Tim Dirven - Panos / Handicap International

"Our daughter, Kanhara, was run down by a lorry when she was just three years old. It happened so quickly.  She lost an arm and her right leg. She didn't receive any specialised healthcare for five years, until we met with Handicap International's teams.” (Cambodia)

Kanhara is not alone: every day, more than 500 children lose their lives in road traffic accidents. Every year, road traffic accidents kill almost 1.3 million people and leave more than 20 million injured.  They are the first leading cause of death amongst the 15 - 25 years old and 90% of these accidents occur in low and middle-income countries. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are the worst affected.

"These accidents not only leave the victims with physical disabilities but also cause psychological harm and have a significant economic impact representing an annual loss of over 500 billion dollars," explains Eric Remacle, Handicap International Road Safety Technical Advisor.

On 7 and 8 May, Handicap International will take part at the Child Road Safety Americas Congress,  held as part of the third United Nations Global Road Safety Week.  The agenda will tackle the critical situation regarding children on the roads, ways of improving child road safety, and how to ensure the campaign for improved road safety features in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals.
 
Since 2000, Handicap International has been actively campaigning for improved road safety. The organisation is currently running projects in Benin, DRC, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Tajikistan and Haiti in order to raise communities' awareness of the risks relating to road safety, to improve infrastructure, and to support victims of road traffic accidents.

"It is vital that people are made aware of the risks and know how to protect themselves, by wearing a motorcycle helmet, wearing a seatbelt, not drinking and driving, and keeping to the speed limit. We also work in schools, to ensure children are informed from a very early age and learn the right behaviours. This is absolutely essential," explains Eric Remacle.

He goes on to conclude, "If effective steps are not taken immediately, by 2040, road traffic accidents will cause 2.4 million deaths a year.  Improving road safety is therefore a priority for Handicap International."

Where we work

Read more

Fatehia walks again thanks to HI’s teams
© ISNA Agency / HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Fatehia walks again thanks to HI’s teams

Eight-year-old Fatehia was seriously injured in a bombing raid on her village in northern Yemen. She now receives medical and psychological support from HI.

Ameen: "Now I can walk, I want to go back to university"
© HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Ameen: "Now I can walk, I want to go back to university"

Ameen, 19, was the victim of an explosion in Hodeidah, Yemen. He was injured in his right leg, just above the knee. Humanity & Inclusion supplied him with a prosthesis and helped him walk again.

Heba learns to walk with a prosthesis
© HI
Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

Heba learns to walk with a prosthesis

Heba is a 13-year-old girl. Her home in Sa'dah, Yemen, was struck by an airstrike last year. She suffered a serious leg wound and her leg had to be amputated.