China Seatbelt Intervention Project Underway In Guangzhou

February 23, 2006 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: News




National and international members of the China Seatbelt Intervention Steering Committee met yesterday in Beijing to discuss the progress of a Guangzhou project which addresses the low usage of seatbelts in China.

"Today, China accounts for around 15% of the world's total number of deaths from traffic accidents every year, and the number has been increasing by 10% annually," World Health Organization Representative in China Dr Henk Bekedam said. "Almost 10,000 road traffic crashes took place in Guangzhou during 2004, resulting in 1,800 deaths and almost 12,000 people injured. Throughout China, this death toll exceeds 100,000 people each year".

The China Seatbelt Intervention Project is a cooperation between the Chinese government, international organizations and industry.

The implementation of this project is guided by the members of the Steering Committee which includes the Traffic Administration Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security of China, officials from the Ministry of Health,
officials from the Public Security and Traffic Departments of Guangzhou Municipal Government, and officials and specialists from the WHO.

The high rate of road injury is not surprising considering that motor vehicle production has tripled since the early 1990s. Due to the rapid growth of large urban centres such as Guangzhou there is an urgent need to implement proven road safety interventions".

The George Institute for International Health officially launched the 'China Seatbelt Intervention Project' in Guangzhou in mid-2005.

Adopting practices found successful around the world, senior police and traffic officers attended seatbelt law enforcement training and commenced intensive enforcement program in October 2005, in which almost 3000 vehicles were inspected and 1000 drivers or passengers not wearing their seatbelt were penalized or educated.

To complement the intervention, an intensive social marketing campaign is underway, focusing on raising awareness of road traffic safety laws, according to the Traffic Command and Control Center of Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Public Security. It is being rolled out in collaboration with training
managers of taxi companies and members of traffic safety committees.

The 24-month intervention project is due for completion in October 2006. The project will have implemented best practice in relation to strategies to increase the use of seatbelts and it is anticipated that the project will see an increase in seatbelt restraint use of at least 20%.


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