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UN Highlights Dangers Facing World's Pedestrians

Pedestrians and cars cross a bridge during heavy fog in Ahvaz, Iran.
The United Nations has launched its second Global Road Safety Week with a focus on the special threats facing pedestrians.

Pedestrians, particularly children and the elderly, make up one-quarter of the 1.25 million people killed each year in road accidents.

They are at especially high risk in low- and middle-income countries where the use of cars and other motorized transport has grown dramatically and public policy does not adequately address pedestrian safety.

The UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) says countries should support pedestrian safety as a way of improving public health and reducing air and noise pollution.

The WHO has called for global efforts to enforce vehicle speed limits, build sidewalks and crosswalks, and effectively punishing drunk driving and other reckless behavior.