Comment 70886

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 26, 2011 at 05:57:35

It is not just me who thinks that road crashes (especially with pedestrians) are not some fact of human nature that cannot be reduced, please see this report from the WHO. Talking about these crashes as "accidents" makes them seem somehow inevitable and shifts to blame to motorists or pedestrians being "careless".

Here is a quote:

"“Thousands of people die on the world’s roads everyday. We are not talking about random events or ‘accidents’. We are talking about road crashes. The risks can be understood and therefore can be prevented,” said Dr LEE Jong-wook, Director-General, World Health Organization. “Road safety is no accident. We have the knowledge to act now. It is a question of political will,” he added.

The magnitude of this growing global public health crisis, the risk factors that lead to road traffic deaths and injuries and effective ways to prevent them are detailed in the World report on road traffic injury prevention. The report provides governments and other policy-makers, industry, nongovernmental organizations, international agencies and individuals with concrete recommendations to improve road safety."

The motorist death rate has been going down, not by admonishing drivers to be more careful, but mostly through policy and engineering changes:

"This success is attributed to improving the design of vehicles and roads and focusing on legislation, enforcement and sharing of information about the use of seat-belts, helmets, and child restraints and about the dangers of speed and drink-driving."

Unfortunately, the pedestrian death rate has not decreased significantly, but there are also policy and engineering changes that could make a difference.

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