Road crashes are top killer of children and youth globally – report

ANG KALSADANG LIGTAS SA BATA AY LIGTAS SA LAHAT. DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista (6th from left) and officials of other government agencies launch the National Coalition on Child Road Traffic Injury Prevention or NC-CRTIP.

Road crashes are the top killer of children and youth worldwide, according to a report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2023.

More than half of the fatalities are among pedestrians and motorcyclists, the report furthered.

Based on 2019 data on the age distribution of all-cause mortality, road traffic injury remains the leading cause of death for children and young people aged 5 to 29 years and is the 12th leading cause of death when all ages are considered, according to the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2023.

“The tragic tally of road crash deaths is heading in the right direction, downwards, but nowhere near fast enough. Road safety is a multisectoral concern. We should continue to work together to keep our roads safe,” said Dr. Rui Paulo de Jesus, WHO Representative to  the Philippines.

In the Philippines, at least 1,670 Filipino children die due to road crashes every year, according to public interest law group ImagineLaw citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. “One child lost due to road crashes is one death too many,” said Atty. Sophia San Luis, executive director of the law group.

Task force launched to protect children from road injury

A national coalition convened by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Philippines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to protect Filipino children from road injury as aligned with the vision of the Philippine Road Safety Action Plan 2023-28 or PRSAP.

“To address road safety, we have developed the [PRSAP]. This plan, together with the WHO global report on road safety, will guide us in implementing and monitoring efforts to reduce road traffic deaths and serious injuries in the Philippines,” said DOTr Secretary Jaime J. Bautista.

The MOU, signed by the DOTr, Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), among others formalizes the National Coalition for Child Road Traffic Injury Prevention or NC-CRTIP.

The NC-CRTIP  is an inter-agency and multisectoral coalition that will strengthen collaboration among agencies and road safety stakeholders in protecting children from road crashes. “This coalition is us working together in building a country that protects children from road crashes,” said San Luis.

“Political will is needed to address children’s death because of road crashes –  from proper education and awareness among stakeholders to better infrastructure and improved road systems that protect vulnerable road users. Ang kalsadang ligtas sa bata ay ligtas sa lahat,” she added.

“No one should die or be seriously injured on our roads. Every life is precious. We should continue to work together towards a Philippine society with Zero Deaths on the Road,” said DOH Secretary Dr. Teodoro Herbosa.

Full copy of the report: