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Road safety: What works?. Margie Peden Coordinator, Unintentional Injury Prevention Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention World Health Organization. 1.3 million deaths. 20-50 million injuries. The social cost of road traffic injuries is enormous.

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Road safety: What works?

Margie Peden

Coordinator, Unintentional Injury Prevention

Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention

World Health Organization

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Road safety should be addressed using a “systems approach”



Road user

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Road safety is a shared responsibility approach”









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What can be done? approach”How can NGOs help

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Someone needs to be in charge approach”

  • Implementing a lead agency

    • One department − responsibility − accountability

    • Funding

    • National / local strategies − all crash phases

  • Lobbying by NGOs

    • For such an organization

    • For greater focus on road safety in general

    • Raise funds for road safety

    • Influence the development of strategies with measurable targets

    • Remembering the post crash phase

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Collecting data approach”

  • Data is essential to understand

    • Magnitude

    • Prioritization

    • Evaluation

  • NGOs can

    • Assist multisectoral data collection

    • Conduct their own specific studies

    • Assess impact/effectiveness − own programmes

    • Use science-based data to lobby for

      • Infrastructural changes

      • Safety and rights of vulnerable road users

      • Safer public transportation

      • Safety around school/urban areas

    • Personal stories

The story of ONE loved one can move an audience much more than statistics without faces!

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Legislation and education TOGETHER – the example of drinking and driving

  • What is LESS USEFUL

    • Education without legislation (billboards!)

    • Buddy programmes

    • Alcohol server programmes

    • Self-testing

    • School instruction

  • What WORKS

    • Minimum drinking age

    • 0.05 g/dl for general public + enforcement

    • Lower than that for novice / commercial drivers

    • Graduated driver licensing systems

    • Random breath testing / police check points

    • Alcohol interlocks

    • Swift and strict penalties

    • Interventions for problem drinkers

    • Restricting sales, increasing taxation

NGOs should lobby for what works

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A word on education alone drinking and driving

Education is an important tool to shift social norms towards safer behaviour on the road, but is not a stand-alone road safety intervention

  • Education alone is not a good investment of money

    • Teaching children to cross the road − important skill − doesn’t prevent injuries − may increase exposure

    • School-based driver education − Ineffective − Leads to earlier licensing − increased crash risk

    • No evidence for defensive driving training

    • Mass media must be focused

    • Plays, road shows − sensitize

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Advocating for what works drinking and driving

NGOs should lobby for infrastructural changes that

focus on high risk groups and work with the local community to implement proven interventions

  • Law and enforcement of child restraints / seat-belts

    • Appropriate for child's age/size

    • Loan schemes for poorer families

  • Bicycle/motorcycle helmets

    • Law and enforcement

    • Helmet standards

  • Separating road users

  • Increasing visibility

  • Reducing speed around schools, play areas

  • Safer vehicles

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Victim support drinking and driving

  • Pre-hospital care

    • Bystander training

    • Access number

  • Acute care − staff − training − equipment

  • Rehabilitation − access

  • Victim services

    • Legal support, justice

    • Family support groups

  • Advocacy events


    • National events

NGO victim groups are best placed to support other survivors and their families, lobby for post crash services and raise awareness through major

advocacy events

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Be the change that you want to see in the world. drinking and driving

Mohandas Gandhi