On Wednesday, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent showed their support for safety measures during an event in Stockholm, Sweden. The King and Prince attended the third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.
The royal visitors were just two of a number of international representatives. The UN General Assembly asked Sweden to host the third global ministerial conference on road safety. The conference was held at the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Center.
King Carl XVI Gustaf gave a speech in which he told delegates: “Over the years, I have done quite a lot of driving myself; both here in Stockholm and across Europe. One thing becomes apparent about these long drives through different countries: Just as traffic is cross-border, so are the challenges that traffic poses especially as the number of people and vehicles increase. “
Both the Swedish monarch and the British prince have focused heavily on road safety throughout their careers. Prince Michael is patron of RoadSafe, a British road safety organisation which aims to reduce the number and severity of road collisions. In addition, Prince Michael has won “The International Road Safe Award” for his efforts to make roads safer.
In his speech, the King also pointed out that Sweden has made progress when it comes to reducing the number of people killed in traffic incidents. As Carl XVI Gustaf has himself said: “50 years ago, in 1970, more than 200 Swedish children lost their lives in road traffic accidents. According to the latest available statistics, that number is now down to 16. Of course, 16 is still not zero, but it is a lot better than 200.”
The conference is being held in close collaboration with the World Health Organization and the aim is to follow up and summarize the global road safety work within the framework of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and create global support for ongoing road safety work by 2030. According to WHO estimates, 1.35 million people per year are killed in road traffic around the world. In addition, nearly 50 million people are injured. Road accidents are the eighth most common cause of death and the most common cause of death among people aged 5-29.