News / Health

Traffic Safety at the Heart of Walks, Rallies Around the World

Traffic Safety at the Heart of Walks, Rallies Around the Worldi
X
May 10, 2013 12:03 PM
Thousands of people around the world are taking part in walks and rallies to promote traffic safety. May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month. Traffic safety is a subject that touches the hearts of many, including the Nelson Mandela family of South Africa. VOA's Carolyn Presutti explains.
TEXT SIZE - +
Thousands of people around the world are taking part in walks and rallies to promote traffic safety.  May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month.  Traffic safety is a subject that touches the hearts of many, including the Nelson Mandela family of South Africa. 

Cars and people -- trying to get along on one of the world's busiest roads. Biking and walking and crossing --  in Cambodia. India, and Tanzania.  Competing with driving, sometimes risky, sometimes, losing.

Traffic crashes worldwide claim 1.2 million lives every year.  South Africa has one of the world's worst road safety records, seeing about 40 deaths each day.  Zanani Mandela -- great-granddaughter of Nelson Mandela -- died in a crash three years ago on the eve of the World Cup.  

The Long Short Walk for safe roads is in her honor -- like this one in Vietnam and many more all over the world.  Zanani's uncle, Kweku Mandela, joined the walk in Washington. "If could create something that would save lives in the future and could educate people we should bring light to it," he said. "So we did this in Zanani's name."

Walker Kristen Thomen is learning how to drive but is still haunted by a crash several years ago.  She wants people to know the consequences of unsafe driving.  

"People do get hurt and traumatized.  Right now, I’m scared to back out of my driveway and when I learn how to drive, I have to learn how to back out of my driveway.   It’s really traumatizing me for me because everytime, I see this accident happening,” Thomen stated.

Outgoing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says distracted driving is the new killer.

"Eighty-six percent of us buckle up but the whole notion of texting and driving," he said. "Cellphone use and driving, people don't get it yet."

The number of traffic deaths in the United States inched up last year, after dropping steadily for the past six years.

But globally the number continues to rise, expected to reach nearly 2 million deaths every year in the next decade.  That's why the effort is so strong to reach this age group.

And even younger.  Four-year-old Kai Zarr knows all about safety. "Hold hands when crossing the street with an adult," Zarr added.

“The younger you get to them and teach them about the culture of safety, the more likely they are to practice safe habits the rest of their life,” Zarr's father said.

A crucial lesson, passing safety habits onto their children.

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an award-winning television reporter who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.  She has won an Emmy, many Associated Press awards, and a Clarion for her coverage of Haiti,  national politics, the southern economy, and the 9/11 bombing anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Syrian medical crisis and the Asiana plane crash, and was VOA’s chief reporter from the Boston Marathon bombing.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid