Transport Thematic Group Event
On December 13, 2023, the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO) presented in Geneva the latest Global Status Report on Road Safety. The report details the scale of road traffic fatalities and the progress in advancing country laws and strategies geared to reduce road crashes. The report, alongside other sources of data, represents a solid basis for defining additional country actions in addressing a major health and development challenge and sets the baseline for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 target of halving road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030. The report, the fifth in a series, shows that while the number of traffic deaths has fallen slightly since 2010 (to 1.19 million per year), the price paid for mobility remains far too high, and urgent and additional actions are needed if the above-mentioned target is to be achieved. The call for urgent action is particularly critical in developing countries, where 90% of the fatalities occur, and for their younger population as road crashes are the leading cause of death for children and youth aged 5 to 29 years.
On Tuesday February 20th, at 12:00 noon, we are very fortunate to have Dr. Maria Segui-Gomez, an expert and leading international consultant on public health and road safety issues, and lead author of the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2023. She will present to us the results of the report, the challenges in preparing the extensive set of statistics this report brings about, and the implications for action. A physician by training, Maria Segui-Gomez led Spain’s Directorate-General for Traffic between February 2012 and July 2016—a period during which traffic fatalities decreased by 18% in the midst of a substantial increase in traffic volumes. She studied Medicine and General Surgery at the University of Barcelona where she later completed a master’s degree in Public Health. Maria also has a master’s and doctorate in Sciences in Health Policy from Harvard University. Her stay at Harvard culminated with her appointment as Deputy Director of Harvard’s Injury Control Center. In 1999, she joined the faculty—as Adjunct Professor—of the Injury Control and Research Center at Johns Hopkins’ Department of Health Policy and Management. Upon returning to Spain in 2003, she taught at the University of Navarra in Pamplona and became founding director of the European Center of Injury Prevention. In July 2011 and before becoming Director General for Traffic in February 2012, she was appointed Director of Public Health of the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain. She is the recipient of several international awards including the International Distinguished Career and the Excellence in Science awards from the American Public Health Association, the Fellowship and the A. J. Mirkin awards from the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, and the 2015 Beltil Aldman award from International Research Council of Biomechanics of Injury. Between her appointment with the Spanish government and the current consultancy at WHO, Dr. Segui-Gomez has worked as senior safety consultant for the FIA and has collaborated in some WB works in Nepal and the Western Balkans.
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