Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is to donate $125m over the next five years to improve traffic conditions in ten cities of low and middle-income countries across the world.

Starting from 2015, the funds will be provided through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme with an aim to strengthen road safety legislation.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), traffic-related incidents will result in approximately 1.4 million deaths in 2015 and the majority of the fatalities occur in low and middle-income countries, where traffic laws are not effectively implemented.

"We’ll help those cities work together to share effective strategies, so that even more lives can be saved."

The organisation also states that 50 million people a year globally suffer from road-related injuries.

Bloomberg said: "Every life lost because of unsafe roads is a tragedy and most of those tragedies could be avoided with better rules, better enforcement and smarter infrastructure.

"City governments can be especially effective at putting those measures in place, because they are often able to move faster and more efficiently than other levels of government.

"This new funding will be targeted to cities where we can make the biggest difference, that have shown the strongest commitment to taking action, and that have the best ideas for making roads safer. We’ll help those cities work together to share effective strategies, so that even more lives can be saved."

Bloomberg Philanthropies is inviting 20 low and middle-income cities with populations of more than two million to apply for grants. Ten out of the 20 cities will be selected by next January.

By taking information from world’s leading experts in road safety, the organisation will work with the selected cities to implement new initiatives to save lives and protect people from injuries.

WHO department for management of non-communicable diseases, disability, violence and injury prevention director Dr Etienne Krug said: "Strong road safety laws to prevent drinking and driving and speeding and promote the use of motorcycle helmets, seat-belts and child restraints, when coupled with an increase in compliance have the potential to reverse the epidemic of road traffic deaths and injuries."

A number of the organisations that have joined Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Road Safety Programme include EMBARQ, Global New Car Assessment Program, Global Road Safety Partnership, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, National Association of City Transportation Officials, the Union North America, the World Bank-led Global Road Safety Facility and the WHO.