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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit

A World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention

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Keyword: road safety

May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month (GYTSM), and the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) supports the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) in their efforts to address the issue of road safety among young people. We encourage a worldwide conversation to call attention to road traffic fatalities not only in the United States, but around the world, especially in low- and middle-income countries, were nearly 95% of youth road traffic fatalities occur.

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World report on child injury prevention, 2008, more than 260,000 children die as a result of road traffic crashes each year, with an estimated 10 million more sustaining non-life threatening injuries. Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are the global leading cause of death for children 15-19 years, and the second leading cause of death for children 5-14 years.  What’s more, RTI’s rank within the top 15 causes of disease burden worldwide for children under 14.

National Youth Global Youth Traffic Safety Month® (GYTSM) was formed in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to support the United Nations 2007 Global Road Safety Week.

To find out more about GYTSM, visit the NOYS site:

To read the WHO’s World report on child injury prevention, click here:

To find out more about JH-IIRU’s global road safety work, visit our publication list here, as well as our special issues on the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program:

Recent studies have shown considerable undercounting of bicyclist mortality rates in police-reported data in China. Comparisons between the Ministry of Health’s vital registration data and the Disease Surveillance Points data (DSP) show significant disparity in rates from that of the official, police-reported rates.

JH-IIRU team members, including associate faculty Sai Ma and research assistant Qingfeng Li, recently published a study addressing this disparity in Injury Prevention. “Bicyclist mortality between 2006 and 2010 in China: Findings from national Disease Surveillance Points (DSP) data,” examines the trend in bicycle mortality using DSP data.

The study found that, between 2006 and 2010, the mortality rate for bicyclists increased from 1.1 to 1.6 per 100,000 population, according to DSP data, and more than 90% of bicyclist deaths were undercounted by police compared to DSP data during the same time period. However, because the police-reported statistics are regarded as the official data source, bicyclist injury and mortality rates may suffer from under-reporting.

This paper suggests the importance of using health sector data to compliment the reporting of traffic bicyclist injuries, as well as the need to improve police reports in China to more accurately reflect mortality rates.

These findings have several important policy implications: including health sector data can improve the quality of the data, as well as influence the implementation of interventions, such as promoting helmet use, mass media campaigns and legislation to curb the recent increase in mortality.

You can access the paper here:


As part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Program, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) and collaborators from the Middle East Technical University (METU) recently hosted a road safety training workshop in Ankara, Turkey.

The two-day workshop, “Monitoring and Evaluation Methods for Road Safety,” aimed to strengthen the in-country capacity for monitoring and evaluation of road safety programs in Turkey. The more than fifty attendees included members of the Turkish National Police, faculty members from several Turkish universities, and representatives from the Ministry of Health, as well as various health professionals from across Turkey.

JH-IIRU team member, associate scientist, Dr. Shivam Gupta and METU faculty member, Türker Özkan, lead two sessions, an introduction to program evaluation and a discussion on the indicators for road safety program evaluation. Other topics of discussion included data collection methodologies and key issues and applications of road policing. In addition to Dr. Gupta, JH-IIRU research assistant, Connie Hoe, was in attendance as well.

Additional workshop collaborators included the World Health Organization (WHO), Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) and the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT).

Dr. Shivam Gupta

JH-IIRU research assistant, Connie Hoe

In July, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) team members, Senior Technical Advisor, David Bishai, and Research Program Coordinator, Ekaterina Slyunkina, attended the International Conference on Road Safety in 10 Countries that was held in Lipetsk, Russian Federation.

While at the two-day conference, which was organized by the Lipetsk government, JH-IIRU presented an assessment of the first two years of the RS-10 project in the Russian Federation. Team members discussed the successes and challenges of implementation in the intervention sites of Lipetskaya and Ivanovskaya Oblast, as well as opportunities for the future to enable both regions to achieve greater results and to bring success to the RS-10 project in Russian Federation.  For example, conference participants discussed the need to expand and intensify collaborations with consortium partners and between key stakeholders and the desire to engage various federal and regional departments in road safety measures, as well as the possibility of declaring 2013 a “Road Safety Year.”

The conference provided an excellent opportunity to enhance collaboration between JH-IIRU and other RS-10 consortium partners as well as key stakeholders at the central and regional level.

As a result of the conference, the Lipetsk government issued a resolution to endorse mutual collaboration in order to overcome challenges of RS-10 project and reduce road traffic fatalites and injuries in the region. The resolution also calls on federal departments involved in road safety activities to improve the enforcement and surveillance at the national level.  Additionally, conference participants called for discussions with the regional departments involved in road safety activities to develop and implement additional activities that will be eventually linked to the planned political and budgetary initiatives, to expand and intensify collaboration with consortium partners, to use the international experience of other countries, and to a develop a complex and systematic approach to the road safety culture on Lipetsk roads through by  establishing a special fund that will ensure various federal and regional departments will be engaged in road safety initiatives.

Group at RF Conference
International Road Safety Conference participants.

E Slyunkina at RF conference
JH-IIRU research program coordinator, Ekaterina Slyunkina, at the conference.

To see examples of media coverage in the Russian Federation of the conference, follow these links:

For additional information on the RS-10 Project, click here, or contact us at

While it’s well-known that road traffic injuries (RTIs) are one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide, estimates on the burden of injury in specific countries, especially those in the developing world, are often inaccurate or insufficient.  This is true in Kenya, where estimates quantifying the burden of road traffic injuries exist, but are more than 10 years old, making it difficult to demonstrate the magnitude of the problem to decision-makers in the country. What’s more, as countries like Kenya develop, the number of vehicles increase with the enhancement of road infrastructure. This increase often leads to higher rates of speed which then leads to more RTIs.

In the paper “Road Traffic Injuries in Kenya: The Health Burden and Risk Factors in Two Districts,” members of the JH-IIRU team, including associate directors Abdulgafoor M. Bachani and Kent Stevens, as well as Hadley Herbert, along with colleagues from the Department of Public Health at Kenyatta University in Nairobi and the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation aim to address this issue.

The goal of the paper was to assess the current status of RTIs in Kenya using police and vital registration records. The team also conducted observational studies of three risk factors—speeding, helmet use and reflective clothing use—in two districts, Naivasha and Thika.

The assessment revealed that the burden of RTIs continues to increase, highlighting the necessity of a renewed effort to address this burden with a focus on incr
easing helmet and reflective clothing use, while enforcing speed limits.

As part of the Road Safety in 10 Countries project (RS-10), in 2012, the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU) published “Public Health Burden of Road Traffic Injuries: An Assessment from Ten Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” a special issue of Traffic Injury Prevention. This landmark publication includes 11 scientific papers jointly authored with 50 colleagues from JH-IIRU and their in-country collaborators that contribute much-needed new knowledge to the burgeoning issue of road traffic injuries in low- and middle- income countries.

You can access the full article along with the entire special issue here.

To find out more about JH-IIRU and road safety, contact us at

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