Stopping Road Accidents

MemaNH, via Flickr

Have you experienced a road accident? Robin Basselin shares three stories of road accidents.

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Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Robin Basselin. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand - no matter where in the world they live.

Every day, road accidents kill around 3400 people around the world. And over 150,000 people are injured. It is the number one cause of death among young people around the world. These road accidents affect millions of people every year. In 2007, the World Health Organization released a book sharing the stories of some of these victims. Today, we will hear three stories from this book.

The first story is from David Blanchard. He lives in Cairo Egypt. David’s daughter Deana was killed by a bus. Mike Procter brings us David’s story.

Voice 2 

Deanna is my daughter. She was 17 years old when her life was cut short. The accident happened on the 9th of October 2003. Deana was with four friends. They were going to a birthday party. They had just got out of a taxi car, and they were trying to cross the Nile Corniche in Maadi. The driver let them out on the wrong side of the road. It is an extremely busy street. There are no traffic lights, no crossings. Just a never ending flow of speeding cars, trucks and buses. There is really nowhere to cross the road. You have to run across several lanes of traffic to get to the other side. A speeding bus hit Deana as she crossed the road. The bus driver did not even slow down.

I was travelling for my work at the time. My brother-in-law called me to tell me the terrible news. You can imagine my guilt and shame. I should have been in Cairo. I could have driven her to the party.

Deana was beautiful. She had a beautiful smile. She enjoyed life so much. Deana wanted to be a tooth doctor for children. She loved children. I feel bad because I should have spent more time with Deana. But then I think that even spending 24 hours a day with her would not have been enough.

Every day I drive to my office along the same road. Hundreds of people cross the road there. Every day I see men, women, and children quickly moving through the blurred maze of traffic. I hold my breath and I pray that the speeding cars do not end another life.

We started the Safe Road Society because our daughter lost her life. Its goal is to make roads in Egypt safer for its citizens. We hope to save lives.

Voice 1 

Our next story comes from Diza Gonzaga. She lives near Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Katy Blake brings us Diza’s story.

Voice 3 

On 20th of May 1995, my 18 year old son Thiago was killed. Thiago was coming back from a party between midnight and six in the morning. He was sitting in the back seat of the car, probably without a seat-belt. The driver was an eighteen year old young man, without a driver’s permit. The car hit a waste container that was in the road. It was in the wrong place in the street.

An emergency vehicle arrived quickly. But both passengers were already dead. The driver survived. A family friend called my house. Fifteen minutes later we were there. I saw my son dead, lying on the ground. I will never forget that sight.

It was as if our family had all died together. I stopped working after my son’s death. I do not have the heart to work. My husband stopped working for a month. He had difficulty teaching because he usually used to see our son’s character in his students. He still has this difficulty ten years later. Special days are difficult for us. Christmas, birthdays, mother’s day, and even going to the store.

Since my son’s death, I have been working for a group called “Fundacao Thiago Gonzaga.” Its main goal is to encourage road safety. I would like to say that crashes, injuries, and deaths are a preventable tragedy in Brazil. Everyone must be involved in changing this problem: educators, teachers, media and doctors. We hope to prevent pain and suffering like ours.

Voice 1

Finally, our last story comes from Peter Geszti. Luke Haley shares Peter’s story.

Voice 4 

Weddings in my hometown of Csurgo, Hungary are a cause for great celebration. About 6000 people live in the town. It is common for a wedding to begin early in the night and go far into the morning. Also, there is a lot of alcohol at these weddings. My sister and her husband married on August 29th 2003. My step-brother Balazs and I stayed at the party for a long time. We probably drank the most also.

Balazs was my step-brother but also my best friend. He was 24. He was already working as a butcher, at a meat store. He also liked to work on his car. At four in the morning, the wedding party ended. My family was worried about Balazs’ desire to drive home. I was also worried. I suggested that he stay at my apartment, or rent a room at the hotel. But instead Balazs’ older brother followed him as Balazs drove his car home.

Balazs arrived home safely. But shortly after that, his girlfriend invited him to another party. Balazs got in his car and raced to the party. As he crossed over a small bridge, he crashed into a stone barrier. He was travelling at one hundred forty kilometres per hour. The speed limit was only fifty kilometres per hour.

Emergency care soon arrived but it was clear that Balazs had died immediately. His body was buried a few days later. Balazs’ mother was affected the most. She had an emotional breakdown. She went to a psychiatric hospital - a hospital for people with mental sicknesses. Still today, she needs help to deal with the loss of her son. She visits Balazs’ burial place every day.

Balazs’ crash has caused me to be more careful in almost all areas of my life. I have promised to drive more carefully. I have also promised to never drive after drinking any amount of alcohol. I also try to educate others about the dangers of drinking and driving. I strongly believe that the police should stop more people and test to see if they have been drinking and driving. This will reduce the number of drunk driving accidents.

Voice 1 

Road accidents can happen to anyone. Accidents kill people crossing roads, riding in vehicles, and driving. The WHO encourages individuals and governments to address this issue. What can you do to make roads safer?

The writer of this program was Joshua Leo. The producer was Luke Haley. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at This program is called, ‘Stopping Road Accidents’.

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.


Have you experienced a road accident?


Avatar Spotlight
said on August 20, 2013

The accidents on the roads are a big problem around the world, many drivers don´t matter anything, no respect nothing.
I think that the driver permit must get previous test of the mind, because we have crazy people on the wheel.

Thanks   let me comment


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said on August 22, 2013

First of all,the government must do something to stop road accidents.Increase the punishment to whom violate the traffic law.
As a driver,you must pay high attention when you are driving. No chatting,no calling and no drunk.Driver must strictly obey the traffic rules.So do pedestrians,
Traffic eduction is important as well.
For you,for others,please must be more careful in driving. Thanks.

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said on August 22, 2013

There are many risks in the life. We make much effort to awoid risks. Risk having rate is high to us. We have safety solutions. We prevent risks. We reduce risk having rates. We learn about risks. We follow safety regulations. When we are safe we feel we are lucky. We forecast risks. We rate risks. When risk having rates are high we are more careful. We may not know about all risks. Risks may happen. Risks remind us to be careful.

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Ngoc Lam Phan
said on August 23, 2013

There are many risk in our life, expecialy the traffic accidents are dangerously so we must caful when we join the traffic

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said on August 25, 2013

The sad stories very much! Especially, the young people should realise they must be careful on the roads to don’t destroy neither the other people lives nor their own. Except alkohol, the lack of carefulness is the biggest mistake which the people make. We only can hope the number of the road accidents will decrease in future.
Thanks for an article!

natasoul's avatar
said on October 06, 2014

I think the road accidents are a huge problem in the world. Today there are a lot of crazy drivers who no paying attantion for us (simple pedestrians).so that is why we must be careful when cross the road. and i hope that in the future we will have reasonable driver and this car accidents will be reduced and we will be safe. Thanks for this article.!!!

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suong xk
said on October 07, 2014

Nothing compensate for the loss of a loved one
each year in the world had a lot of people died by accident (1.24 million deaths worldwide in the year 2010) . Hope everyone aware that thing to join the traffic safer and more careful

Green Kale's avatar
Green Kale
said on October 08, 2014

I think the serious issue lead to car accidents each year is because people are so careless. I know they know how wrong it is to do while driving but they still do it because they think it won’t cause any serious problems. For instance, eating or texting or using phone while driving, is that the right thing to do when you facing with the most dangerous thing everyday is to drive car to work? In America, they put a lot of neon sign: “No texting when driving” but I see a lot people still do. I don’t care whether they get the car accident or not because we already warn them, but don’t blame on the innocent injury people because they have nothing to do with.

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said on November 19, 2014

There are a lot of risks around our life everyday; specially the traffic accident which leads to many unfortunate lifes. In my country, Vietnam, recently there was a heart-rending accident to a happy family. The accident occurred when the husband took his pregnant wife by motorbike to hospital for giving birth. Unfortunately, the pregnant wife was run over to death by a tank truck. The baby in the mother’s belly was fallen out and baby’s right leg was broken by truck wheel. The father was broken a leg. Within 25 days, The first Children’s hospital in Hochiminh city treated and kept the baby alive. The baby returned to his home in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang. What a legendary story! So when driving or riding any means of communication, everybody must be careful aiming at avoiding dangerous accidents. Thanks for Spotlight’s article.

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said on January 16, 2019

This program is very sad and hard. I cried listening to it. Everyone has children, parents and other close people. It is very hard to lose loved ones. Especially children. This does not even want to imagine.
I think that if everyone would be responsible for yourself, no matter who are you -  driver or pedestrian, if everyone would think and realize how important it is to be careful and attentive, whether driving or a pedestrian, there would never have been a road accident. Everyone must follow the rules of the road.

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said on January 16, 2019

In 2003, my wife was driving to our daughter’s house and her car was hit, side door, by a Brazilian Army car that was traveling at a hundred and forty kilometers per hour. My wife’s car was launched, yes, it flew 20 meters away. Fortunately, my wife did not died, but today she has bodily and mental consequences of that misfortune. Ironically, next to the crash site was a traffic sign with the words: Maximum Speed Permitted 20 KM ...

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said on January 16, 2019

I ever say to my sons and daughters that cars are instruments of pleasure and it cannot will be transformed in a machine of death e pain…

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on January 17, 2019

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
To: spolight programme
Subject: answer the question below
Date: Thursday 17, January 2019
Location: São Paulo city, São Paulo Brazil
Avenida Líder 1150 bloco 2 ap 42 Cidade líder São Paulo 03586-000
Telephone number 55 11 22545124 0r cellphone 55 11 999594913

Dear Joshua Leo, Luke Haley, and Robin Basselin:

Firstly, I want to thank you for bringing us more one great article, thank you.
Question 1 - Have you experienced a road accident? No, I have not. But I have seen several road accidents here in my country Brazil.
Your regards,
Severino Ramos