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Multidisciplinary efforts toward sustained road safety benefits: Integrating place-based and people-based safety analyses
  1. Becky P Y Loo1,
  2. C B Chow2,
  3. M Leung3,
  4. T H J Kwong4,
  5. S F A Lai5,
  6. Y H Chau6
  1. 1Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics, Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong
  3. 3Department of Accidents and Emergency, Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong
  4. 4Community for Road Safety, Hong Kong
  5. 5Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong
  6. 6Kwai Tsing Safe Community and Health City Association, Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to Professor Becky Loo, Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong; bpyloo{at}hku.hk

Abstract

Relevant local injury epidemiology In Hong Kong, there were, on average, about 19 596 traffic crashes involving 157 deaths and 21 106 injured persons each year between 2006 and 2011. Scientific analyses were conducted by geographers and engineers primarily using the police crash database. Medical professionals have been analysing road traffic injury data from hospital discharge summaries. Moreover, community leaders have been trying to promote local safe communities.

Best practices This paper describes the effort of a multidisciplinary team to address road safety problems and to sustain road safety benefits through a public health approach. The multidisciplinary team comprised a geographer, an engineer, medical professionals and community leaders. The project covered four tasks, namely data integration, identification of hazardous road locations, crash analysis and engineering study, and knowledge exchange through various activities involving a WHO-designated local safe community.

Implementation The crash and hospital databases for a district in Hong Kong with 500 000 population were integrated. Based on the integrated database, the public health and people-based approach was adopted to identify hazardous road locations—hot zones—using geographical information systems. Specific hot zones having strong patterns of common factors were considered as treatable locations with a combination of low-cost remedial measures. The benefits of the project are sustained through various activities engaging the general public and major stakeholders.

Research agenda More research should be conducted on how institutional support, scientific research and community involvement can be fruitfully combined to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained road safety benefits for people at the community level.

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