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Old 04-15-2014, 07:01 AM   #1
Surj
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Name: Surj
United Nations: Improving Global Road Safety

Alerts have come out from the AMA, MRF and others over the last few days about the resolution passed on April 10th by the UN. Yes, the United Nations.

Comments by Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations:

"...the United States is pleased to cosponsor and urge the adoption of this comprehensive resolution on road safety.

We do so because motor vehicle accidents kill more than 1.2 million people every year and because many of these deaths could be prevented through improvements in road design, traffic management, safety equipment, and emergency response."


Here's the actual resolution (PDF):

"Encourages Member States that have not yet done so to consider enacting comprehensive legislation on key risk factors for road traffic injuries, including the disregard for road signs and signals, the non-use of helmets, safety belts and child restraints, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, inappropriate and excessive speed and inappropriate use of cell phones, including texting, while driving, in order to increase the proportion of countries with comprehensive legislation up to 50 per cent by the end of the Decade of Action, and encourages Member States to strengthen their enforcement of existing road safety legislation on the risk factors;"


The AMA says "However, the resolution also contains language calling for mandatory helmet laws and harmonization of vehicle regulations in the name of “safety.” This resolution is non-binding, but the American Motorcyclist Association wants you to be aware of the international momentum for laws and regulations that might affect you in the future."

From my perspective, more emphasis on the badness of texting while driving (and distracted driving in general) is excellent, but it feels a little weird that the UN is involved here. Similarly, while the discussion about helmet laws and whether they're a good thing is ongoing and heated, encouragement of helmet use is excellent but again the involvement of the UN feels like overstepping.

Harmonization of vehicle specs/safety/tech/etc isn't new, and it's not clear that this resolution does much other than encourage member nations to get on board with this. The AMA says "some agenda items may interfere with your right to customize your motorcycle."

This is mostly a heads up. The AMA alert is here.
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