Every day, worldwide, around 30,000 people are seriously injured in road traffic crashes. Most of these are in low- and middle-income countries, and most are pedestrians and cyclists.
The World Bank believes that a partnership between business, non-governmental organisations and governments in these countries can deliver road safety improvements, and has established the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) for this purpose. The partnership includes the car manufacturers General Motors, Ford, Daimler Chrysler and Volvo, and the drinks multinationals Bacardi-Martini and United Distillers.
After the establishment of the GRSP, however, serious concerns were raised that car markers would be unlikely to promote safety initiatives (for example, better public transport or pedestrian only streets in cities) that were in conflict with their commercial interests. The researchers sought to determine whether this was happening by conducting word frequency analyses of road safety documents from the GRSP and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
They compared the summary report of the World report on road traffic injury prevention, prepared by WHO and the World Bank, with the combined annual reports (2003-2005) or the GRSP, and looked at the prevalence and nature of road safety terms within them using a technique called 'word frequency analysis'. The GRSP documents were found to be substantially less likely than the WHO World report to use the words speed, speed limits, pedestrian, public transport, walk, walking, cycling and cyclist, but substantially more likely to use the words school, campaign, driver, training and billboard.
In addition, whereas the WHO/World Bank document emphasises the importance of speed reduction, particularly to promote the safety of pedestrians, a recommendation that is based on strong evidence, the GRSP documents talk about driver training and safety education campaigns, both of which the available research evidence show to be ineffective in reducing road injuries.
'We do not doubt the depth of road safety expertise within the partnership. The concern we sough to address is whether the GRSP would be able to persuade its commercial partners, many of which are major manufacturers, to fund road safety initiatives that might be seen to conflict with their commercial interests', explains Professor Ian Roberts, of the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and lead author of the study. 'Unfortunately, the findings reveal that this is not always the case. Although we welcome the contribution of the car makers in tackling the global road safety epidemic, we believe that vigilance is needed to ensure that the interventions that the industry supports are based on sound evidence of effectiveness.'
Lindsay Wright | EurekAlert!
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences