Annals of Health Law
MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT
The Haddon Matrix underpinned much of the science of understanding crash
causation, and its modern guise, albeit with some minor modification, is
referred to as the Safe Systems Approach.26 As noted above, regulation has
proved to be a vital tool in underpinning road safety measures, and legislation
is explicitly recognized in the WHO’s Global Plan for the Decade of Action
for Road Safety 2011-2020, where, for instance, the percentage of countries
with specific road safety laws is a key outcome indicator with targets for 2020
II. ROAD SAFETY: A PUBLIC HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT CRISIS
While the public health crisis that is road safety is now widely recognized,
the watershed moment for global action came in 2004 with the release of the
WHO’s World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention (“World Report”).28
The World Report eloquently articulated the immense loss of life and well
being due to road crashes globally, as well as the associated economic cost
to society.29 In doing so, the report documented known risk factors for
crashes and detailed effective preventative measures.30
[This revolution has] . . . not come about without cost: environmental
contamination, urban stress and deteriorating air quality . . .
[T]ransportation is increasingly associated with a rise in road accidents and
premature deaths, as well as physical and psychological handicaps. Losses
are not limited to reduced worker productivity and trauma affecting a
victim’s private life. Equally significant are the rising costs in health
services and the added burden on public finances.
interact during each phase of a crash. The resulting nine-cell Haddon Matrix models a
dynamic system, with each cell of the matrix allowing opportunities for intervention to reduce
road crash injury.” WHO WORLD REPORT, supra note 17, at 12.
26. WHO GLOBAL STATUS REPORT ON ROAD SAFETY: TIME FOR ACTION 5-6 (2009),
available at http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2009/9789241563840_eng.pdf
[hereinafter WHO GLOBAL S TATUS REPORT 2009].
27. WHO GLOBAL PLAN OF ACTION, supra note 3, at 22.
28. WHO WORLD REPORT, supra note 17.
29. Id. at 25, 51.