On the Road Again: Promoting Safe Travel and the Public's Health


The World Health Organization estimates that each year over a million people worldwide are killed as a result of traffic crashes. To highlight the need for greater efforts to prevent injuries and fatalities due to traffic crashes, World Health Day, April 7, 2004, will be dedicated to the theme of road safety. A majority of the global death toll from motor vehicle crashes occurs in developing countries that are not advanced in the design of automobiles and roads and lack enforceable laws requiring the use of seat belts and safe speeds in pedestrian areas. In the United States, such laws do exist and safety is the highest priority in automobile and road design, yet, each year approximately 43,600 people die in motor vehicle crashes and many more suffer non-fatal injuries. Where design and laws fail, behavior modification and community awareness must succeed because traffic related deaths are preventable. Join us as we look at the efforts of the San Francisco Department of Public Health and their partners to look beyond the statistics, to protect their citizens’ health and make road safety a priority in their community.


This program will seek to increase awareness of road safety and the role of public health agencies. Panelists and participants will discuss strategies to protect the public’s health from preventable injury.


  • Describe how motor vehicle crash-related injuries are a leading killer of children and young adults in the United States.
  • Describe unique threats to road safety for seniors.
  • Describe an exemplary community-based traffic safety program.
  • Describe the need for developing and maintaining partnerships with local transportation and law enforcement agencies.
  • Identify three strategies that will reduce motor vehicle-related injuries and death in a community.


Public health leaders and professionals from local and state government agencies, hospitals, clinics, boards of health, community-based health organizations, academic institutions, federal agencies, and others who seek to learn more about strategies to promote road safety and prevent traffic related death and injury.