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Road Safety ‘Tag’ unites world for Decade of Action PDF Print E-mail

A new global symbol for road safety has been unveiled ahead of the launch next year of a UN Decade of Action to tackle the annual 1.3 million deaths on the world’s roads.

The ‘road safety Tag’ is intended to become the road safety equivalent of the red ribbon for HIV/AIDS awareness or the white wristband worn in the fight against poverty. Every day 3500 people are killed on the world’s roads, ninety per cent of casualties occurring in the developing world. The ‘road safety Tag’ has been designed by WPP plc agency The Partners in a pro-bono gesture of support for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

The Tag was launched at special events in New York and London. On 22nd September Former US President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced the Tag at a special road safety ceremony during the Clinton Global Initiative.  At a separate event senior officials from the UN and the multilateral development institutions including UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, Inter-American Development Bank President Alberto Moreno and World Bank Vice President Inger Andersen joined Make Roads Safe global ambassador Michelle Yeoh and Oman’s Ambassador to the UN, H.E. Fuad Al Hinai, to unveil the Tag in the UN headquarters during the Millennium Development Goals summit.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the Tag was presented on 23rd September to an international audience of more than a thousand injury prevention specialists attending the Safety 2010 world conference on injury prevention in London. Lord Robertson, Chairman of the Commission for Global Road Safety, and Etienne Krug, WHO’s Director of Injury Prevention, unveiled the symbol at an event at the Natural History Museum. The Tag, and the awareness raising slogan for the Decade, ‘Wear. Believe. Act.’ were projected on the gothic exterior of the museum.

Speaking at the launch of the Tag, Lord Robertson, Chairman of the Commission for Global Road Safety, said:

“Tonight the Road Safety Tag is just a small piece of metal. But a red ribbon is just a ribbon, until it is imbued with the hope and energies of millions of people working against HIV/AIDS. The white plastic wristband is just a piece of plastic, until hundreds of thousands of people proudly display it as they march against poverty. Now it is up to us, all of us, to unite and make this small piece of metal a powerful symbol of our fight against the suffering, grief and injustice caused by road deaths and injuries.”

Etienne Krug, Director of Injury Prevention at the World Health Organization, said:

“Hospitals and morgues around the world are filled with victims of road traffic crashes. The UN Decade of Action is a unique opportunity. Symbolized by the road safety Tag, the Decade will allow many actors to join forces to put into practice the prevention programmes and trauma care services needed to avoid this unnecessary loss.”

The Decade of Action will be officially launched on 11 May 2011, with events across the world. The goal of the Decade, endorsed by 100 governments in the UN General Assembly, is to ‘stabilise and reduce’ global road deaths by 2020. The World Health Organization and the UN regional commissions are coordinating the Decade on behalf of the United Nations.  At the Clinton Global Initiative WPP plc, represented by Mark Penn, Chairman of Burson Marsteller, also committed to providing pro bono PR support for the Decade launch.

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP plc, said:

“The global road death epidemic is one of the world’s most neglected killers. Every six seconds someone dies or is seriously injured in a road crash. So there is an urgent need to raise awareness amongst policymakers and the public. The road safety Tag will be a unifying, motivating and instantly recognisable symbol for this global effort during the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. I am delighted that WPP is able to support this important, life-saving cause.”

Global roll-out and use of the Tag is being developed and coordinated by the World Health Organization and the FIA Foundation in preparation for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

tag_large
The ‘road safety Tag’ is intended
to become the road safety
equivalent of the red ribbon for
HIV/AIDS awareness or the
white wristband worn in the
fight against poverty
tag_clinton
Former US President Bill Clinton,
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
and Make Roads Safe Global
Ambassador Michelle Yeoh at tag
launch, Clinton Global Initiative,
New York

tag_george_etienne

Lord Robertson, Chairman of the
Commission for Global Road Safety
and Etienne Krug, Director of Injury
Prevention at the World Health
Organization, at the tag launch,
Natural History Museum, London

mdg
Launch of the tag at the MDG Summit,
UN. (l-r) UNEP Director Achim Steiner,
Michelle Yeoh, IDB President Alberto Moreno,
UN Ambassador for Oman Fuad Al Hinai
tag_nhm
Tag launch, Natural History Museum, London