On the road to prevention: Road injury and health promotion

Mark Stevenson, Jason Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Road traffic injuries are already the leading cause of injury mortality and morbidity globally and by 2030 are predicted to be the fifth leading cause of mortality in the world. Australia has seen a dramatic reduction in road deaths and serious injuries since the 1970s and holds an international reputation for road traffic injury prevention due, in part, to its success in pioneering the multidisciplinary and intersectoral approach needed to address this significant issue and by applying an evidence-led approach to policy development. The paper will discuss Australia's early success in road traffic injury prevention (road safety), particularly the achievements following the implementation of targeted programs that focussed on road user behaviours for which health promotion played a role. The most successful of these programs was the introduction of comprehensive seat belt laws, random breath testing and more recently, strategic speed enforcement programs. Amid an array of significant challenges faced by the transport system in the future, the rapid development in information and communication technologies applied to transport is likely to provide the next generation of road safety benefits. The potential for a semi-autonomous transport system is likely to provide the next significant decline in road fatalities and serious injuries over the next 2 decades and the role of health promotion in relation to raising community engagement and building coalitions to increase uptake of new technologies will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-7
Number of pages4
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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