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18 Oct 2014

What is alarming is the socio-economic impact these accidents have, not only on the person affected, but on the hospital and our city as a whole. Even in cases where the driver is at fault, it is rare for them to even be cited for a traffic violation in most cases. More importantly, personal injury insurance and health coverage barely cover the emergency services needed for these accidents, and most services offered at the hospital are subsidized by taxpayer dollars, which means we are paying for this on all sides. This is unacceptable. There is currently a wave of momentum to address these complex issues and attempt to tease through how we as a city can rebuild, redefine and reinforce the safety in our city. This movement is supported by a global platform addressing road traffic safety as a public health campaign, through the World Health Organizations Decade of Road Traffic Safety. This campaign tackles the myriad polices and resource investments needed to address the enormous impact road traffic accidents have on the world. Injuries, mainly those resulting from road traffic accidents, account for greater disability and death than HIV, TB and Malaria combined. An average 5.8 million die annually, and for every death caused by these accidents, eight to 10 more are permanently injured. To bring collective awareness around this issue and to change the landscape, the community needs to stand together not only in San Francisco but also around the world, to demand safer streets. The city is doing its part to outline a roadmap to curbing these alarming statistics, and a greater global campaign is underway to promote awareness and inspire activism. We must stand up for the injured and for ourselves as local citizens to demand safer streets and protection from when accidents occur. We may not be able to prevent every accident, but we can improve the choreography of their outcome if we work together. Amber Caldwell and Nick Arlas are Director of Development and Community Outreach Coordiator, respectively, at the Institute for Global Orthopaedics and Traumatology, UCSF Orthopaedic Trauma Institute, San Francisco General Hospital.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2014/08/18/film-festival-organizers-call-safer-san-francisco-streets


To read more about malaria prevention please visit http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/malaria-slow-burning-global-emergency


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