22 Feb 2019 Story Transport

Safe roads for cyclists and pedestrians: UN Environment Share the Road Programme 2018 Annual Report

There are many ways to get around—including driving, walking and cycling. Transportation-related injuries​ are a big problem in many cities. According to the global status report on road safety by the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.4 million people die on the road each year. To put this into perspective, someone dies on the road every 24 seconds.

The mobility needs of people who walk and cycle—often the majority of citizens in a city—continue to be overlooked, according to the latest annual report of the Share the Road Programme.

UN Environment Share the Road is urging governments in developing countries to invest in pedestrians and cyclists, as this can save lives, help protect the environment, improve air quality and support poverty reduction. Meeting the needs of pedestrians and cyclists continues to be a critical part of the mobility solution for helping cities decouple population growth from increased emissions, and to improve air quality and road safety. Safe, convenient, inclusive transport infrastructure will help people move away from cars to healthier modes of transport.

As a child growing up in São Paulo, Brazil, I remember walking to school every day with my friends, and back home again. Road traffic injury is now the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years; it is heartbreaking to know that thousands of children around the world die, making that same journey that I used to, said Lucas di Grassi, racing driver for Formula E, CEO of Roborace and Clean Air Ambassador for UN Environment, who wrote the foreword for this year’s report.

The 2018 annual report showcases the work of the Share the Road Programme in 2018, spanning seven country projects and a host of global advocacy events and initiatives. The report also gives a platform for external authors to give their outlook on non-motorized transport-related issues.