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

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Substance-abuse counsellor in fatal DRUNK DRIVING

An alcoholic who became a substance abuse counsellor has been accused of killing a man while driving drunk. So far this is, sadly, not an unusual story. What makes it horrific and explains in part why she was charged with murder was the fact that after hitting the pedestrian she continued to drive for more than 2 miles with the man embedded in her windshield. Other motorists stopped her and took her keys. Her blood-alcohol level was more than double the 0.08 legal limit. One year earlier she faced charges of driving under the influence, hit and run, and being under the influence of a controlled substance: charges that were dismissed because the test results were inconclusive.

Horrific fire at clothing factory in Bangladesh

In November, a fire consumed a clothing factory in Bangladesh causing more than 100 deaths. It appears the doors were locked and there were no emergency exits. This was all too reminiscent of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire that occurred in the USA in 1911, when 146 workers died. The Bangladesh factory supplied clothing to many retailers including Wal-Mart via a supplier's subcontract. Harold Myerson, writing in the Washington Post, alleges that Wal-Mart's ‘demand for low prices’ prompts suppliers ‘to cut corners and skimp on safety’.

Road safety reminders from the UN secretary general

Ban Ki-moon noted that worldwide more than a million people die and many more are injured annually on the roads.

His message was issued on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. He stated that of the more than 50 million injured each year, many are ‘condemned to enduring physical disabilities and psychological trauma for the rest of their days’.

Without urgent action, road traffic injuries will become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030. Last year more than 100 countries pledged to save 5 million lives by implementing road safety strategies and information campaigns at the launch …

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  • Contributors SH, DL and DS.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.