Sustainable Community Action

Action Ideas[]

Why it matters[]

Some quick points:

Major cause of deaths and injuries (directly)[]

  • As an example traffic "accidents" kill more than 40 000 each year in the U.S. alone.
  • In the western world the number of deaths have been declining in recent years, but in the developing world / "the south", traffic accidents take a larger and a growing toll, as the affluent increasingly use cars, but little is done to ensure acess and safety for those travelling by more sustainable means . /soft

Major cost to society[]

  • Insurance
  • Construction to improve safety
  • Safety features in cars
  • Health sector: Emergency services, rehabilitation, psychological and economic burden of victims families

Major cause of deaths and bad health (indirectly)[]

  • It has been claimed that a large part of the 400 000 estimated to die from a sedentary lifestyle and bad diet in the U.S. yearly could have lived longer if they had used their legs and hearts to go to work/school etc instead of using private cars. The World health organisation recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.
  • The fear of being killed in traffic accidents, and partly the measures being put in place to keep pedestrians and cyclists "safe" - that is keep them off the roads, deters people from walking or biking, but using private cars instead. (It needs to be mentioned that in well-functioning cities public transport and walking/cycling can be combined).

Safety concerns discourages sustainable transport[]

  • When sustainable transport is discouraged, population health is harmed through inactivity, but a modal shift to cycling walking and the use of public transport would also reduce NOx, SOx, dust, noise, CO2, N2O, ground-level ozone and smog.

What improves safety? - Any tradeoffs ?[]

  • The measured improvement in traffic safety in the rich countries, is in part explained by better emergency treatment. Victims that would not have surivived 20 years ago now do. But this costs society a great deal, and seriously injured and molested people are many times as many as the ones killed, end very many of them require special and expensive care for the rest of their lives.
  • Part of the improvement can be linked to safer cars (safer for the occupants), and safer roads (primarily for motorists.
  • Part of the improvement might be explained by fewer sustainable and "soft" actors being out there in the traffic. The costs of this shift in terms of obesity/a sedentary lifestyle appears to offset what has been gained from technological advances.
  • Part of the improvement stems from the realisation that speed kills, and the subsequent creation of reduced speed-zones.

Random facts[]

  • Each year, traffic accidents kill about 1.2 million people and injure up to 50 million more. Source: Worldwatch Institute


International Campaigns[]

News UK[]

Diary international 2011[]

Diary UK November 2007[]

Related Wikipedia content[]

Wanted pages and external links