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.
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 Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid