ALERT- World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic victims: enhancing vital post-crash actions | November 19, 2016
Today, 20th of November, is dedicated to remembering the millions killed or injured in road crashes, their families and communities. It is also an opportunity to reflect on a safer road system. This year’s theme ‘Vital post-crash actions: Medical Care, Investigation, Justice!’ echoes to the call of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action […]
Today, 20th of November, is dedicated to remembering the millions killed or injured in road crashes, their families and communities. It is also an opportunity to reflect on a safer road system.
This year’s theme ‘Vital post-crash actions: Medical Care, Investigation, Justice!’ echoes to the call of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for improvements in the post-crash response (Pillar 5).
Road crashes annually kill around 1.27 million people worldwide. Road crash injuries are also a leading cause of disability and create a tremendous economic burden on those affected, particularly in developing economies.
What is post-crash response?
The pillar 5 of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action encourages various actions to save lives and reduce severity of impact immediately after the crash:
- Develop pre-hospital care systems and trauma care systems,
- Put in place single nationwide emergency telephone number,
- Provide early rehabilitation and support to injured people and those bereaved by road traffic crashes
- Establish insurance schemes to fund support to the injured and bereaved to minimize both physical and psychological trauma
- Encourage a thorough investigation into the crash and provide an effective legal response to road deaths and injuries
Further proposed actions related to this pillar are to encourage research and development into improving the post-crash response and to provide incentives for employers to employ people with disabilities.
Providing appropriate response to reduce trauma of victims
For almost a decade, Handicap International has been assisting the victims of road crashes through a set of inclusive interventions.
Handicap International promotes an integrated approach to victim assistance, based on the comprehensive frameworks of inclusive development such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), to address the needs & advances the rights of all persons with disabilities (PwD). Therefore, Handicap International provides its services, such as rehabilitation sessions, without differentiating by causes of impairment. Among its beneficiaries, many are disabled due to road traffic accidents, highlighting the necessity of appropriate post-crash response for road traffic victims.
The likelihood of dying from a serious injury resulting from a traffic crash is much higher in low and middle income countries due to insufficient first aid at the scene, slow transport to a hospital and unskilled medical help at the hospital or health center to provide services. Handicap International is active in improving first aid and ambulance services to crash victims.
It further develops actions to improve the capacity of local actors (police, Red Cross volunteers, community volunteers, ambulances crews) in providing first aid response to road crash casualties, referring them to adequate health structures, including rehabilitation services, and developing relevant emergency systems at community level.
Within this range of activities, the incorporation of first aid learning into the school curriculum is supported. Furthermore, when available, Handicap International is promoting referral toward basic rehabilitation and psychosocial support services, in extension of the immediate first aid response.
Handicap International is addressing road safety in a comprehensive fashion, linked with the five pillars of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety. To date, Handicap International has contributed significantly in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam, Republic Democratic of Congo and Benin, to the development of the National Road Safety Action Plans, establishment of the National and Provincial Road Safety Committees and drafting and approval of new traffic laws.
In various countries in Asia and Africa, Handicap International teams will be coordinating events, with local organisations advocating for Road Safety and the rights of road crashes victims.
The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020 was officially proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in May 2010 (resolution A/RES/64/255), “with a goal to stabilize and then reduce the forecast level of road traffic fatalities around the world by increasing activities conducted at the national, regional and global levels”.
An informal consultative mechanism, the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) promotes and supports the implementation of the Decade.