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Greetings, public health leaders and advocates,
Lots of new reports, calls for presentations and ways to get involved emerged this month. Many valuable resources and
articles on transportation and health, in addition to original research published
in assorted journals, have been released in recent weeks and are available
We hope that you’ll share
these resources and this e-newsletter with your friends, family and colleagues.
Annual Scorecard on Traffic Safety in the Nation
overall highway deaths and the fatality rate have declined in recent years, the
trend is reversing. Preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration show that the first nine months of 2012 saw fatalities rise 7.1
percent over the previous year — the largest uptick in traffic fatalities since
1975. And every year, crashes lead to about 33,000 deaths and 2 million
injuries costing more than $230 billion. Traffic safety advocates recently
released an annual scorecard measuring state progress in adopting 15 basic
traffic safety laws.
“The most effective strategy to combat
this public health problem is prevention,” said APHA President Adewale Troutman, who helped roll out the report.
“Years of research show that driving sober, properly restraining our children
in cars, protecting novice teen drivers and keeping our hands on the wheel and
our eyes on the road will prevent crashes.” Read more about this new resource
via Public Health Newswire.
Prevention: How the Built Environment Impacts the Safety of Communities
Special feature by APHA 2012 intern, Nicholas Shaffer
environment can be constructed to help prevent injuries. In fact, injury
prevention strategies that decrease risk through better design of the built
environment are among the most successful interventions and can last years. The
built environment can also be used to prevent violence. Built environment
features that increase "eyes on the street" (e.g., outside lighting, neighborhoods with frequent pedestrian activity) may help decrease crime. The
built environment should be designed with health effects and injury prevention
in mind. In the US, 40 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur where there was no
crosswalk nearby. 10 percent of fatalities occur inside a crosswalk. The pedestrian
fatality rate is 2.91 per 100,000 persons in counties where more than 20 percent of
households have incomes below the poverty line (national average is 1.6 deaths
per 100,000 persons).
many ways that the built environment can prevent injury and violence. Improved
lighting has been shown to reduce nighttime pedestrian fatalities at crossings
by 78 percent. When protected bike lanes are installed in New York City, injury
crashes for all road users (drivers, pedestrians and cyclists) typically drop
by 40 percent and by more than 50 percent in some locations. Increased walking, cycling and
public transit travel tends to reduce crime rates by providing increased
monitoring of city streets and transit waiting areas.
of successful improvements to the built environment comes from California. Boyle
Heights is a predominantly Latino community that lacked adequate space to
exercise. The residents of Boyle Heights were able to transform a cracked and
broken sidewalk into a 1.5 mile rubberized jogging path. Since the completion
of the path, daily use has increased from about 200 to more than 1,000 people.
the design in the downtown and waterfront areas of Fort Pierce created an
unsafe pedestrian environment and attracted crime. To address these issues, the
city of Fort Pierce built a roundabout at the gateway between the downtown and
waterfront areas, which serves as a traffic-calming device. Extending from the
roundabout is a newly constructed connected system of streets. These new
streets are built with curb extensions, median refuge islands and clearly
marked crosswalks, making pedestrian crossing safer. With the new
infrastructure additions, pedestrian activity has increased.
the Phoenix Department of Street Transportation began constructing a pedestrian
underpass that would bypass a six-lane street, where three pedestrians had been
killed in the past 10 years. The underpass has security lighting, a skylight
and a wide, unobstructed environment that helps promote security. Improvements
made to the surrounding intersections also helped increase pedestrian and
bicycling safety. The city built enlarged pedestrian and bike refuge areas, new
directional ramps at corners and way-finding markers at intersections and
pedestrian countdown indicators on traffic signals.
information about designing healthy environments, see CDC’s fact sheet on the topic and APHA’s reports and fact sheets.
|Resources and News
New resources from the American Journal of Public Health, The Nation's Health and Public Health Newswire:
Urban sprawl, physical activity, and
body mass index: Nurses’ Health Study and Nurses’ Health Study II. James P, Troped PJ, Hart JE, Joshu
CE, Colditz GA, Brownson RC, Ewing R, Laden F. American Journal of Public
Health: February 2013, Vol. 103, No. 2, pp. 369-375.
Other resources and news:
Transportation for America has
released a guidebook on MAP-21, the latest federal
transportation authorization, and it includes explanations of the key features
of the new law.
Participate in Global Youth Traffic Safety Month
in May, young people across the nation unite during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month to focus on the leading cause of
death for themselves and their peers: traffic-related crashes. Participate in Global
Youth Traffic Safety Month by joining Act Out Loud, which is the traffic safety
campaign designed with young adults in mind.
Attend a free America Walks webinar
14, join America Walks
for a free webinar titled Follow the
Leader > Successful Walking Initiatives. Speakers will include representatives from GirlTrek,
Oregon Walks, Count on Yourself Coaching and The YMCA of the USA, who will
provide their strategies for mobilizing communities to implement successful
Opportunities to present
many open calls for presentations and abstracts: Act today!
|Upcoming Events in 2013
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