A Transport Policy Whose Injury Impacts May Go Unnoticed: More Walking, Cycling and Use of Public Transport
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019, 16 (19), 3668. 10.3390/ijerph16193668
It is an objective of transport policy in many countries and cities to promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport. This policy seeks to improve public health and reduce emissions contributing to global warming. It is, however, very likely that more walking, cycling and use of public transport will be associated with an increase in traffic injury. Moreover, it is likely that most of this increase will go unnoticed and not be recorded in official road accident statistics. Official statistics on traffic injury are known to be very incomplete as far as injuries to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport passengers are concerned. This incompleteness is a problem when assessing health impacts of more walking, cycling and travel by public transport. In this paper, studies made in the city of Oslo, Norway (population 700,000) are used to develop numerical examples showing how the estimated real and recorded number of injuries may change when 10% of person km of travel performed by car are transferred to walking, cycling or public transport. It is shown that not more than about 2% of the estimated change in the actual number of injured road users will be recorded by official statistics on traffic injury.