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  1. Ivan Barry Pless
  1. Westmount, Quebec, Canada H3Y2V2
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Ivan Barry Pless, 434 Lansdowne, Westmount, Quebec, Canada H3Y2V2; barry.pless{at}mcgill.ca

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Global road traffic injury prevention

A Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) team in Philadelphia, and a major multinational corporation, studied employee perceptions of road risks. The research was conducted in two Indian cities with high traffic injury rates. The results indicate the need ‘to balance customizing prevention efforts to the local environment with an overarching, evidence-based corporate strategy’. This conclusion was reached using interviews, focus groups and surveys. The study was published in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion. Comment: Flaura K Winston, the founder and scientific director of CIRP, summed it up saying, “This ‘glocal’ approach takes global issues and adapts them to a local context.” 'Glocal' is a welcome useful word. Thanks Flaura.

Motorcycle safety versus antilock brakes inaction

One reason for the reversal in the decline in US traffic deaths is the persistent high toll among motorcyclists. It is surprising therefore to learn that federal regulators have balked at requiring antilock brake systems (ABS) in spite of evidence of their effectiveness on cars. An irony is that many major law enforcement agencies require that all motorcycles in their fleets have ABS. The president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety considers ABS to have the greatest potential for improving motorcycle safety. The institute estimates that nearly one-third of all fatal crashes from motorcycling every year, and many injuries, could be prevented by a federal ABS mandate. Yet federal regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are oddly ambiguous about pushing for the measure. Part of the reason may be concerns about costs to manufacturers and part is the lack of political influence. The same hesitant posture applies to NHTSA’s position on banning worthless novelty motorcycle helmets. Not surprisingly, there is also opposition to ABS from rider groups whose posture is remarkably similar to that of the National Rifle Association — “riders should …

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