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Road safety lead agency challenges of three decades of intervention for road safety in Iran: implications for policy-makers
  1. Homayoun Sadeghi-Bazargani1,
  2. Alireza Razzaghi1,
  3. Mohammad Hossein Somi2,
  4. Leila Doshmangir3,
  5. Alireza Esmaeili4,
  6. Javad Hedayati5,
  7. Seyyed Teymoor Hosseini6,
  8. Hamidreza Khankeh7,
  9. Alireza Khavandi Khiavi8,
  10. Reza Masoudi Far9,
  11. Pooria Mohammadian10,
  12. Saeid Pour-Doulati1,
  13. Mahdi Rezaei1,
  14. Mohammad Saadati11,
  15. Jabbar Ali Zakeri12
  1. 1 Road Traffic Injury Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  2. 2 Liver and Gastrointestinal Disease Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  3. 3 Department of Health Policy & Management Research Center, School of Management and Medical Informatics, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  4. 4 Department of Traffic and Transportation, Faculty of Traffic University of Police, Tehran, Iran
  5. 5 General Manager of Strategic Studies of Road Maintenance and Transportation (RMTO) Studies Department, Tehran, Iran
  6. 6 Department of Engineering Traffic and transportation, Faculty of Traffic University of Police, Tehran, Iran
  7. 7 Health in Emergency and Disaster Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  8. 8 Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran
  9. 9 Social Deputy of the Judiciary, Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, Iran
  10. 10 Transport Office of Ministry of Interior and Secretary of High Council for Urban Traffic Coordination of Iran, Tehran, Iran
  11. 11 Department of Public health, Khoy University of Medical Sciences, Khoy, Iran
  12. 12 Center of Excellence for Railway Transportation, School of Railway Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
  1. Correspondence to Alireza Razzaghi, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz 51368, Iran; alirezarazzaghi_21{at}


Background Road traffic crashes and associated injuries and mortalities are one of the big public health challenges, especially in low/middle-income countries. Road safety lead agency (RSLA) is a vital factor in the sustainable prevention and promotes road safety. In the recent decades, various policy interventions have been conducted for road safety in Iran. This study aimed at exploring the challenges of RSLA from the perspectives of stakeholders at various levels.

Methods A qualitative study was conducted. In-depth interviews and document reviews were used for data collection. To conduct interviews, different stakeholders at various levels such as policy-makers, senior national authorities, researchers and faculty members were selected. Data collection was conducted between November 2019 and June 2020. Thematic content analysis approach was used for data analysis.

Results The experts’ perspectives were analysed and then categorised under five main themes including the role and position of the lead agency, the role and duties of the actors and players, translating policy into practice, intrasectoral and intersectoral cooperation and coordination and evidence production and application and a total of 22 subthemes were identified. The current structure of the RSLA is one of the main challenges emphasised by the research participants.

Conclusion To achieve significant improvements in road safety at the national level, a strong management system and leadership body is a critical issue. Organisational reform to establish an effective unique lead agency is proposed to cope with RSLA challenges.

  • policy
  • qualitative research
  • low-middle income country

Data availability statement

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  • Contributors Conceptualization and research design: HS-B, AR. Collected the data: HS-B, AR, MHS, AE, JH, STH, HK, AKK, PM, JAZ. Data analysis and writing—original draft preparation: HS-B, AR, LD, MS, SP-D. Writing—review and editing: HS-B, AR, LD, MS, SP-D, MR, RMF. Supervision: HS-B and AR; all authors read and approved the final manuscript. AR is responsible for the overall content as the guarantor.

  • Funding The study was funded by Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, conduct, reporting or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.