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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
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.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid