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In the opening paper for the Policy Forum section of Injury Prevention,1 Jon Vernick presented a definition of an injury-related policy as “a rule or decision having the capacity to guide or determine the actions of individuals […] with the goal of affecting the surveillance, risk, incidence, severity, disability, cost, or other aspects of injury.” However, policies that do not necessarily have the goal of affecting injury can nevertheless have a profound influence on the risk and burden of injury. A powerful example is the recent changes to motorcycle licensing policy in Spain. We argue that even when injury prevention is not the primary focus of a new policy, it is important for policy-makers to consider the implications for injury risk and to obtain expert guidance.
SPAIN’S MOTORCYCLE LICENSING LAW
As Spain is a warm-climate country of some 40 million people, mopeds and motorcycles are a common means of transportation. In 2003, 10% of Spain’s licensed drivers held a moped or motorcycle-only driving license, and an additional 2% held dual licenses that allowed them to operate both passenger cars …
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