Hungary celebrates Road Safety Day

WHO

On 11 May 2016, Hungary kicked off Road Safety Day with a joint press conference held by Mr Laszlo Taso, Minister of State for Infrastructure (including transport) from the Ministry of National Development, and Dr Zsofia Pusztai, Head of the WHO Country Office in Hungary. Professional and civic organizations who joined in the initiative signed a letter of intent to further develop the Hungarian transport culture as part of their commitment to road safety.

Mr Taso emphasized the importance of tolerance and respect in everyday transport. He said that the number of fatal accidents slowly declined by almost 50% since 2010 when 90 countries around the world began a campaign to improve road safety.

Dr Pusztai pointed out that road safety is one of the important areas of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations agreed upon in September 2015. Presenting data from the recent European report on road safety, she stated that despite the improvements made between 2010 and 2013, 85 000 people still lose their lives in traffic accidents every year in Europe. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are the most vulnerable groups and account for 39% of fatal accidents in Europe.

Dr Pusztai added that Hungarian legislation clearly addresses the top 5 risk factors: speed, drink–driving, and use of motorcycle helmets, seat belts and child restraints. She emphasized that intersectoral coordination in recent years strongly supported the improvements seen in Hungarian road safety. She encouraged further measures to achieve the 50% decrease in fatal accidents by the end of the decade with special focus on vulnerable groups, as well as harmonization of police and emergency service data.

In addition, 15 awards were given to local governments that demonstrated the most improvements in road safety in their cities and villages in the past year. Other programmes took place country-wide, such as safe driving courses and road safety training for children.