Marcel HaegiBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7444.899 (Published 08 April 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:899
Scientist who became a leading international road safety campaigner
Marcel Haegi was a renowned nuclear physicist. But what resonates for me, and for the BMJ—at a time when 3000 deaths every day on the world's roads is accepted as the necessary albeit regrettable cost of motorised transportation—is Marcel's contribution as a road safety activist and advocate for justice for those injured and killed.
In 1988 Marcel's eldest daughter, Vlasta, died when her car was struck by a speeding driver, who survived, was prosecuted, and was required to pay compensation. Marcel and his family were expected to suffer in silence just like the thousands of other parents who have lost children to road traffic crashes.
The state's response to road death is unlike any other form of violent death. There is rarely a proper police investigation, the judicial response is characteristically lackadaisical, and little effort …