WHO wants help for cyclists as proportion of fatal accidents rises

GENEVA: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported an increase in the proportion of cyclists killed in road traffic accidents around the world, even as the total figure for all road deaths is falling.

While the number of road traffic fatalities per 1,000 people fell by 16% between 2010 and 2021, the proportion of cyclists among road deaths worldwide rose from 5% to 6%, the WHO reported in Geneva recently.

Every day, around 3,200 people are killed worldwide in road traffic. According to estimates, 1.19 million people died in 2021.

Road accidents are the most common cause of death among children and young people up to the age of 29, the WHO's Etienne Krug said in Geneva.

A total of 30% of the fatalities were travelling in cars, 70% were pedestrians, cyclists, moped riders and other road users.

Only 0.2% of the world's roads have dedicated lanes for bicycles.

The WHO, which promotes healthy exercise such as walking or cycling, appealed to governments and local authorities to ensure safe cycle paths.

Krug picked out Denmark and the Netherlands as exemplary countries. Cycling is made safe there with paths that separate cyclists from road traffic. Speed limits are important to protect cyclists and other road users.

Cyclists themselves should wear helmets, Krug advised. They should also ride carefully and make themselves clearly visible with lights on their bikes and suitable clothing.
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