Tragedy on Oman’s roads: a call to action on the apalling toll of road traffic crashes

Tragedy on Oman’s roads: a call to action on the apalling toll of road traffic crashes

The Middle East and North Africa region accounts for 10% of the world’s road traffic deaths and has the second highest road traffic fatality rate among WHO regions after the African Region. Road traffic crashes (RTCs) kill on average 21.3 per 100,000 of population ever year, compared to the OECD average of 6.2 per 100,000.  Middle-income countries in MENA, like Oman, account for over 85% of the region’s road traffic deaths. This large share of traffic mortality poses a grave and growing problem which threatens to overwhelm health systems and undermine the achievement of Millennium Development Goals and public health gains of the past decades. Bernadette Millard is a lawyer and road safety expert from Oman. With over 10 years of experience campaigning for the protection of children in cars and safer roads for the country’s youth, she is an authority on the region’s traffic accidents and has produced a number of international award-winning road safety films in Arabic. For this year’s World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims she provides an overview of Oman’s road traffic injury crisis and calls for action on tried and tested prevention strategies: From Remembrance to Action While many countries have succeeded in recent years in reducing death and injury rates from road traffic crashes, in Oman they have steadily escalated to a staggering 35.6 fatalities per 100,000 last year. The 2012 toll was an 8% increase over 2011 with 1056 dead and 11,437 injured, which in turn was a massive 28% increase in death and injury compared to 2010. Tragically, children and young people accounted for more than 1 in 5 deaths...