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Road traffic injuries in Colombia

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Road traffic injuries are a leading public health problem in Colombia. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users, especially in the main urban centers of Bogotá, Medellin and Cali. Data analyzed in this report include official statistics from the National Police and the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences for 1996-2000, and results of a study conducted at the National University of Colombia in 2000. Methods from the Highway Capacity Manual were used for determining physical and technical variables, and a Geographical Information System tool was used for the location and spatial analysis of the road traffic crashes. Pedestrians accounted for close to 32% of injuries and 40% of the deaths from road traffic crashes. The problem of road traffic crashes existed predominately in urban areas. In the main urban centers, pedestrians constituted nearly 68% of road traffic crash victims. The high level of risky road use behaviors demonstrated by pedestrians and drivers, and inadequate infrastructure for safe mobility of pedestrians in some sections of the road network were the main contributing factors. Major improvements were achieved in Bogotá following enhancements to the municipal transport system and other policies introduced since 1995. In conclusion, policies and programs for improving road safety, in particular pedestrian safety, and strengthening urban planning are top priority.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-04-01

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