The requirements and challenges in preventing of road traffic injury in Iran. A qualitative study

Khorasani-Zavareh, Davoud; Mohammadi, Reza; Khankeh, Hamid Reza; Laflamme, Lucie; Bikmoradi, Ali; Haglund, Bo J. A.
January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9, p486
Academic Journal
Background: Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are a major public health problem, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Among middle-income countries, Iran has one of the highest mortality rates from RTIs. Action is critical to combat this major public health problem. Stakeholders involved in RTI control are of key importance and their perceptions of barriers and facilitators are a vital source of knowledge. The aim of this study was to explore barriers to the prevention of RTIs and provide appropriate suggestions for prevention, based on the perceptions of stakeholders, victims and road-users as regards RTIs. Methods: Thirty-eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with informants in the field of RTI prevention including: police officers; public health professionals; experts from the road administrators; representatives from the General Governor, the car industry, firefighters; experts from Emergency Medical Service and the Red Crescent; and some motorcyclists and car drivers as well as victims of RTIs. A qualitative approach using grounded theory method was employed to analyze the material gathered. Results: The core variable was identified as "The lack of a system approach to road-user safety". The following barriers in relation to RTI prevention were identified as: human factors; transportation system; and organizational coordination. Suggestions for improvement included education (for the general public and targeted group training), more effective legislation, more rigorous law enforcement, improved engineering in road infrastructure, and an integrated organization to supervise and coordinate preventive activities. Conclusion: The major barriers identified in this study were human factors and efforts to change human behaviour were suggested by means of public education campaigns and stricter law enforcement. However, the lack of a system approach to RTI prevention was also an important concern. There is an urgent need for both an integrated system to coordinate RTI activities and prevention and a major change in stakeholders' attitudes towards RTI prevention. The focus of all activities should take place on road users' safety.


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