Child injury rate in transport crashes triggers launch of road safety drive

Child injury rate in transport crashes triggers launch of road safety drive

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said it will work to improve the transport system with an eye towards child safety in collaboration with other agencies and policy-making bodies.

The statement comes in the wake of a World Health Organization (WHO) report identifying road crashes as top killer of children globally, with more than half of the fatalities pedestrians and motorcycle riders.

“The goal is for road safety measures to become an integral component of different policy agendas such as child health, climate action, gender and equality,” Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said on Monday during the launch of a coalition to address child road traffic injuries.

On Monday, the DoTr together with the Departments of Education, Health, and Public Works and Highways, as well as the Council for the Welfare of Children and the Metro Manila Development Authority, signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the National Coalition for Child Road Traffic Injury Prevention.

Globally, road traffic deaths fell to 1.19 million per year in 2020, down 5% compared to 2010, WHO said.

“Yet the price paid for mobility remains far too high, and urgent action is needed if the goal of halving road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030 is to be achieved,” WHO said.

In the Philippines, the WHO recorded 8,746 road fatalities in 2020. Of these, 1,670 were children, according to Sophia San Luis, executive director and co-founder of ImagineLaw — a public interest law group that advocates for evidence-based policy solutions. 

“Political will is needed to address child deaths because of road crashes from proper education and awareness among stakeholders to better infrastructure and improved road systems that protect vulnerable road users.” Ms. San Luis said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose