Annals of Health Law
MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT
on communities62 and can be a pathway to poverty,63 particularly in the
absence of a social security safety net or injury compensation scheme.
Recognition of the link between road safety and poverty places the control
of road crashes within the domain of social justice and firmly on the
development agenda. The World Bank has recognized this in their transport
business strategy for 2008–2012, Safe, Clean and Affordable Transport for
Development. Indeed, as noted by Anthony Bliss:
Measures taken must be responsive to the priorities and rights of the poor
who should not bear the burden of scaling up investment in road transport
Infrastructure solutions should be designed to meet the requirements of all
road users, especially those most vulnerable and least protected, and more
inclusive planning and service provision is vital to make roads safe for
Kevin Watkins and Devi Sridhar argue that not only do the high number
of road crashes place a significant burden on already under-resourced health
systems, but that involvement in a road crash can reduce household income,
locking already vulnerable people into poverty.65,66 Watkins argues that road
deaths represent a threat to achieving the Millennium Development Goals
(“MDGs”), which include: achieving a reduction in poverty and hunger
(“MDG 1”); achieving full primary education coverage (“MDG 2”); and
reducing maternal mortality (“MDG 5”), all of which can benefit from safer,
more efficient road transport systems.67 Moreover, Watkins has eloquently
argued that, in setting a goal for the reduction of deaths of children under five
62. Matthew Ericson & Pagna Kim, How Road Traffic Injuries Affect Household Welfare
in Cambodia Using the Millennium Development Goals Benchmarks, 35 ASIAN STUD. REV.
209, 209-34 (2011).
63. TONY BLISS & JEANNE BREEN, IMPLEMEN TING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE WORLD
REPORT ON ROAD TRAFFIC INJURY PREVENTION: COUNTRY GUIDELINES FOR THE CONDUCT OF
ROAD SAFETY MANAGEMENT CAPACITY REVIEWS AND THE SPECIFICATION OF LEAD AGENCY
REFORMS, INVESTMEN T STRATEGIES AND SAFE SYSTEM PROJECTS 2 (World Bank Global Road
Safety Facility 2009); WATKINS, supra note 55, at 1-2; see WHO GLOBAL STATUS REPORT
2013, supra note 2, at 1.
64. AN THONY (TONY) BLISS, ROAD SAFETY ADVISOR, GLOBAL ROAD SAFETY ISSUES: SAFE
SYSTEM CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENGINEERING (2010).
65. KEVINWATKINS&DEVISRIDHAR,ROADTRAFFICINJURIES: THEHIDDEN
DEVELOPMEN T CRISIS 7, 9 (2009).
66. See also Ericson & Kim, supra note 63. A study of households in Cambodia where
one resident was injured in a road crash highlighted a direct relationship with the MDG target
areas of poverty, primary education attendance, gender equality, infant mortality, maternal
mortality and other disease states.