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On hopes for a historic road safety meeting
  1. Rochelle Sobel
  1. Mrs Rochelle Sobel, President of the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 11769 Gainsborough Road, Potomac 20854, USA; asirt{at}

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On 7–8 May 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) hosted a Global Meeting of Nongovernmental Organizations for Road Safety and Road Victims. The objectives of the meeting were to foster a greater understanding of the expertise and needs of road safety and road victim non-governmental organisations (NGOs); share knowledge, experiences and approaches to advocating for road safety and road crash victims; and identify opportunities for greater collaboration among these NGOs and other organisations.

We came together at this global meeting, in the face of a grim reality. Nearly 1.3 million people are killed each year, and an additional 50 million are injured, in road crashes worldwide. If ten jumbo jets were to crash every day somewhere in the world with no survivors, everyone would be outraged and demand action. Yet the world passively accepts that number of deaths each day from road crashes. Most frequently, it is the young who perish. Unless action is taken, the number of dead and injured will escalate dramatically in the next several years. This was a critical meeting.

Convening an NGO …

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  • Competing interests: None.