Trevor Collett | May 13, 2013

The International Road Assessment Program (IRAP) estimates 100,000 people are killed or injured on the world’s road network every 24 hours.

The shocking figures come as the United Nations Road Safety Week, which this year focused on pedestrian safety, draws to a close.

According to IRAP data, 36.5 million people will be killed or injured on roads across the globe this calendar year - or around half of the total number of casualties of World War II.

The report adds that around 20 million road deaths or injuries will this year occur in the Asia Pacific region alone.

“This year alone, 270,000 pedestrians will die on the world’s roads, many of them children just trying to get to school,” IRAP CEO Rob McInerney said.

IRAP is represented in over 80 countries and operates a star rating program for the world’s roads, similar to ANCAP safety ratings for cars.

“Our assessments show that 58 percent of roads can be rated only 1 or 2-stars for pedestrians, with 84 percent of roads with pedestrians not even having footpaths," Mr McInerney said.

“It should be no surprise then that we have such levels of deaths and injuries, but the good news is that these tragedies are preventable.”

In a federal election year, IRAP is calling on both sides of Australian politics to make international road safety a priority.

“Australia has vast expertise in road safety and a moral and regional responsibility to act to make roads safer in the Asia Pacific region,” Mr McInerney said.

“With road crashes estimated to cost 3-5 pecent of gross domestic product (GDP) across Asia, our response must match the scale of the problem.”

IRAP believe that “cost-effective road engineering treatments” could prevent nine in every ten pedestrian fatalities, with simple footpaths and pedestrian crossings a priority.

In comparison to world statistics, Australia recorded 1320 road deaths in the 12 months to March 2013; 164 of which were pedestrians.

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