WHO article shows how Sakhalin partnership made seat-belts “cool”

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The Bulletin of the World Health Organization recently featured a comprehensive seat-belt campaign developed by the Sakhalin Road Safety Partnership (SRSP) that has dramatically increased seat-belt use and yielded evidence of reduced traffic-related injury.

Entitled “Buckling up is ‘cool’ on Russian Island,” the article describes how a fatal crash in 2004 led to creation of  SRSP, which later spearheaded a multi-faceted education and enforcement campaign that has increased seat-belt use on the island from 3 percent in 2005 to 80 percent in 2008.

The programme is being undertaken by SRSP in collaboration with the traffic police, local administration, many other road safety stakeholders – and with support and coordination of GRSP. “The campaign was based on global good practice, incorporating all the awareness and enforcement elements recognized internationally as being needed to reach a good result,” GRSP CEO Andrew Pearce told the bulletin, which featured the programme in its August 2009 edition.

One key SRSP partner is Sakhalin Energy, which helped form the partnership after an employee was killed in the pivotal 2004 crash. One of several workers visiting a remote company installation, the employee was the only one in the vehicle not wearing a seat-belt when the car hit a section of roadway washed-out by heavy rain.

The impact of increased seat-belt use on injury severity is being watched by the Sakhalin traffic police.

To see the English version go to: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/8/09-020809/en/index.html

For the Russian version: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/8/09-020809/ru/index.html

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