Editorials

Road traffic injury prevention

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7444.846 (Published 08 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:846
  1. Barry Pless, editor, Injury Prevention (barry.pless@mcgill.ca)
  1. Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada H3H 1P3

    WHO report advocates input from public health and a systems approach

    “A 63-year-old woman was in critical condition last night after being struck by a car… as she crossed Sherbrooke St E shortly after 4 pm… It appears the pedestrian and motorist both had a green light, said Constable Lapointe. The driver was turning left when she struck the pedestrian. Police did not believe alcohol or excessive speed were factors in the accident.”

    Take this all too common news item and multiply by some large number and you have the daily world total of pedestrian injuries or deaths. Add to this car occupants and bicyclists and you reach the grand total of road traffic deaths, which accounts for 20% of all injury deaths.

    Now, after years of preoccupation with other issues, the World Health Organization (with the World Bank) has turned its attention to what is arguably the largest and most preventable of all modern epidemics—road crashes.1 It matters greatly that the WHO has produced a report on road traffic injury prevention, particularly applicable to those in low income countries. However hamstrung the WHO may be …

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