Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 11:13 UK

Action urged to stop road deaths

A tour bus crash in California, April 2009
The campaign says five million deaths could be avoided in the next 10 years

An international road safety campaign is being launched in Rome, calling on governments to do more to prevent road accidents worldwide.

The Make Roads Safe Campaign, a group of motoring and health organisations, says nearly two million people die every year on the world's roads.

It said millions could be saved if $300m (£200m) was invested worldwide.

Road accidents have overtaken malaria as the leading cause of preventable deaths in developing countries.

In five years time, if nothing is done, traffic accidents will be the biggest single cause of premature deaths for children aged 5 to 14.

The report from the Make Roads Safe Campaign says an estimated 1.9 million people die every year on the world's roads.

The campaign - whose international ambassador is the actress Michelle Yeoh - says five million deaths in the next 10 years could be avoided if governments act to introduce more effective policies.

The UN will hold its first conference on road safety later this year.

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