Year : 2020 | Volume
: 13 | Issue : 1 | Page : 3--4
Making roads safe for children using integrated multi-stakeholder competency building approach
Sunil Kumar Raina
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. RP Government Medical College, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India
Dr. Sunil Kumar Raina
Department of Community Medicine, Dr. RP Government Medical College, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
|How to cite this article:|
Raina SK. Making roads safe for children using integrated multi-stakeholder competency building approach.J Emerg Trauma Shock 2020;13:3-4
|How to cite this URL:|
Raina SK. Making roads safe for children using integrated multi-stakeholder competency building approach. J Emerg Trauma Shock [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jun 4 ];13:3-4
Available from: http://www.onlinejets.org/text.asp?2020/13/1/3/280983
With nearly 3700 people dying on the world's roads every day, road traffic crashes are a cause for alarm. Even worst is the fact that tens of millions more are injured or disabled every year with life-altering injuries. The impact of road traffic crashes is lasting and takes a huge toll on individuals, families, and communities as a whole.
Leaders from the world community, through their endorsement of sustainable development goals (SDGs), are committed to halve the number of deaths from road crashes by 2020. The results of these efforts are visible as progress appears to have been made in areas such as legislation, vehicle standards, and improving access to postcrash care. However, as the progress does not appear to have happened at a pace fast enough to compensate for the rising population and rapid motorization of transport, it is being apprehended that at this rate, the SDGs target 3.6 to halve road traffic deaths by 2020 will not be met.
It is also being realized lately though that in our attempt to address road traffic injury, a large section of vulnerable population (children and young adults aged 5–29 years) has not received enough attention in our health agenda despite road traffic injury now being the leading cause of death in this age group.
So how do we do this? The answer probably lies in recognizing a need to scale up evidence-based, integrated, multi-stakeholder interventions and investment in reducing the burden of road traffic crashes. Cities and towns and their transport systems need to re-invent themselves. In respect of the children and young adults, the priority agenda, therefore, should be to return our streets to our children as they have a right to feel safe on them.
One of the examples that comes to one's mind is the “Safer roads to school” project which was initiated in 2007 in the city of Bologna in Northern Italy. The idea was to control the troublesome traffic generated around schools by parents driving their children to school by car and picking them up back home by car. The situation was more or less similar to the one being witnessed by numerous other cities and towns across the world. However, the Bologna city authorities chose to act and through this project encouraged children and their parents to choose sustainable alternative modes (Pedibus) of their trip to school, making these alternatives safer.
“Pedibus” was a walking school bus where groups of children accompanied by a few parents walk along fixed routes with several stops along the route where children can join the “Pedibus” similar to a regular bus route. The initiative was complimented through the identification of the best route by the authorities in consultation with the parents and conduct of information campaigns to disseminate the achievements of the initiatives to get more parents and children on board.
The success stories as above are few and may be limited to specific settings. Their reliability in diverse settings of low- and middle-income countries may be doubtful, but nevertheless encouraging. Building competence in injury prevention appears to be the key. The idea of involvement of stakeholders will always be helpful.
The usefulness of competence building cannot be lost as the burden of road traffic injuries and deaths is disproportionately borne by vulnerable road users and those living in low- and middle-income countries. Between 2013 and 2016, no reductions in the number of road traffic deaths were observed in any low-income country, while some reductions were observed in 48 middle- and high-income countries.
Beyond building competence and affecting changes through legislation, the greatest flip to progress in making roads safe for children may be affected by the greater effort in planning, design, and operation of roads and roadsides, and in the take-up of a range of tools, notably the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP), which is a star-rating tool for road networks. Countries across the world (114 of them) are currently carrying out systematic assessments or star ratings of the existing roads. iRAP and the implementation of appropriate road standards are particularly important as the majority of travel by road users occur on roads that are apparently unsafe for them at the moment.
The governments, therefore, need to scale up their road safety efforts. The Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety to be held in Sweden in February 2020 is an opportunity to set a road safety agenda for the next decade. However, the bottom line in injury prevention will always remain – building capacity through an integrated approach. Till then, quality position papers like the one published in this issue and preventing “Injuries in School going children” will lead us in making our roads safer for our children.
|1||Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018 – WHO. Available from: https://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_safety_status/2018/en/. [Last accessed on 2019 Jul 29].|
|2||Bologna the “Safer Road to School” Project – Civitas. Available from: https://civitas.eu/measure/safer-road-school-project. [Last accessed on 2019 Jul 29].|
|3||Raina SK. Developing competency in injury prevention. J Emerg Trauma Shock 2019;12:1-2.|
|4||Agrawal A, Bhoi S, Galwankar S, Pal R, Deora H, Ghosh A, et al. Safer roads to School. J Trauma Emerg Shock 2019;12:15-9.|