FIA Foundation discusses road safety policy at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Main Image

Natalie Draisin delivered a lecture at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health about the role of road safety policies in advancing public health on 10 April. She spoke as part of the Graduate Seminar for Injury Research and Policy, which features leading experts in the fields of injury and violence prevention.

The FIA Foundation Manager of the North American Office and United Nations Representative, Natalie Draisin, discussed the role of policies promoting safer vehicles, roads, and road user behavior in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal to half the number of deaths and injuries on the roads by 2020. To highlight the FIA Foundation’s role in promoting such policies, she presented the work of partners including the Global New Car Assessment Programme, International Road Assessment Programme, Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and National Center for Safe Routes to School.

She focused on the need to work across sectors to form and implement research-based policies, and integrate them as part of the public health agenda. “Policies are more effective when they’re researched, developed, and implemented with city planners, engineers, and health providers. One of the most beneficial parts of your Hopkins education is the opportunity to be surrounded by peers and faculty with diverse backgrounds, who will someday become your colleagues,” she said. She highlighted an opportunity to work together to deliver a vaccine known to reduce injuries and fatalities, in the form of speed management. It is the focus of United Nations Global Road Safety Week, from May 8-14.

The seminar is sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, which was established through the CDC. The Center has redefined injury as an urgent public health problem, and aims to close the gap between injury research and practice. The seminar, organized by the Center for Law and the Public’s Health Co-Directors Jon Vernick and Lainie Rutkow, was attended by graduate students and faculty such as Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth Director David Jernigan and Center for Injury Research and Policy Director Andrea Gielen. Also in attendance was Founding Director Sue Baker, who is globally recognized as a pioneer in establishing injury prevention and control as a scientific discipline, and creating laws and policies to improve public health. “I am glad to see that the WHO is focusing on speed management as part of UN Global Road Safety Week. We know it is an aggravating factor in all crashes. Higher speeds increase the likelihood of a crash and the severity of injuries. If we reduce speeds, we will save lives,” said Sue Baker.

Natalie Draisin said, “I owe my passion and career to Hopkins professors, who inspired me when I was a student at Hopkins, and continue to do so today. These professors helped me turn research into practice, and taught me that we all have a role to play in fighting the epidemic on our roads.”