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Washington, D.C. – Reps. Tom Emmer (R-MN) and José E. Serrano (D-NY) sent a letter last week to World Bank President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, with 39 of their colleagues urging him to improve road safety in developing countries.

Worldwide more than 1.3 million die in road crashes annually, with nearly 90 percent occurring in developing countries. While the World Bank has already taken strides towards improving road safety, the rate of global deaths due to crashes continues to rise with the World Health Organization anticipating deaths due to traffic injury to surpass HIV/AIDS soon.

“As we’ve seen in the United States, there is nothing more important to raising living standards, increasing safety and promoting economic development than improvements to transportation,” said Emmer. “As developing nations continue to grow, transportation is key to allowing industry and trade to expand and there is no organization more important to this than the World Bank. I am proud to work with a bipartisan coalition of Members in advocating for American citizens and interests abroad by advancing the goal of upgrading transportation safety in developing nations.”

“Road safety, both at home and abroad, is vital to citizens’ security, helps decrease healthcare costs, and boosts economic competitiveness. We have to make sure developing countries’ roads meet minimum safety standards to protect the lives of millions of people and contribute to their economic prosperity. Through its financing of road construction projects around the globe, the World Bank is uniquely positioned to help improve road safety for all users—pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists—by requiring a minimum set of cost-effective and attainable standards.  I am honored to work with colleagues from both sides of aisle to bring attention to this important issue,” said Congressman Serrano.

The text of the letter is below and a signed copy can be found here.