Cyclists and pedestrians are sacrificed for the greater safety of motorists, says campaigner

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 11 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1117

Stephen Joseph is director of Transport 2000, a UK group that campaigns for a sustainable approach to transport

Who should be primarily responsible for road safety on a national and international level?

The approach taken on road safety is more important than whose responsibility it is. Over the coming decades road crashes threaten to become the biggest killer worldwide, according to figures from the International Red Cross. To prevent this catastrophe, developing countries must learn lessons from the mistakes made by western governments when their countries were hit by the explosion in car ownership some 40 years ago.

With few exceptions, western countries have cut casualties only through creating safer conditions for motorists, at the expense of other road users. In 2001, when the number of …

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