Road Traffic Injuries Research Network (RTIRN)

Why we need an initiative

Every year, road traffic collisions take the lives of 1.2 million men, women and children around the world and seriously injure more. Road traffic injuries (RTI) are currently among the top 10 leading causes of death and disability in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) and projections indicate that they will be the third leading cause of death and disability in 2020 unless there is appropriate and prompt intervention.

Addressing key issues – such as speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol; promoting the use of helmets and seat belts; ensuring that people walking or cycling are visible; enforcing road safety regulations; and improving emergency response services – has demonstrated that needless deaths and disabilities caused by road traffic collisions can be prevented.

Creation of the network

The session on Road Traffic Injuries at Forum 3 (1999) led to a continuing dialogue and a wish to create partnerships for research in this area. The first meeting of interested partners was held in Kampala, Uganda, in April 2000. The Global Forum was catalytic in keeping the partners together and provided opportunities to present and discuss the research finding during annual Forum meetings.

In July 2002, the partnership acknowledged the need to formalize the network in order to make things transparent and effective. The Road Traffic Injuries Research Network (RTIRN) was created with the establishment of a board and secretariat and the development of a listserve and newsletters.

The current secretariat is located at the Aga Khan University, Islamabad, Pakistan where its activities are coordinated by Dr Junaid A. Razzak – junaid.razzak@aku.edu

Objectives and focus

The overall goal of the initiative is to establish networking mechanisms and facilitate the establishment of partnerships between RTI researchers and institutions internationally that will support the development and strengthening of research agendas and research capacity in low- and middle-income countries. The specific objectives of the network are:

  • To advocate for research to reduce the burden of road traffic injuries in LMICs.
  • To set priorities for road traffic injury research in LMICs.
  • To help develop capacity for road traffic injury research in LMICs.
  • To promote investments for road traffic injury research in LMICs.
  • To conduct strategic research on road traffic injuries in LMICs.
  • To disseminate and promote the application and utilization of research to reduce the burden of road traffic injury in LMICs.
  • To facilitate communication between partners involved in road traffic injury research in LMICs.

Key activities

  • Participation in international meetings
  • Presentation to international organizations
  • Distribution of advocacy documents
  • Monthly RTIRN newsletter – Road research
  • Development of a monograph of completed research studies funded through the RTIRN in Kenya, Pakistan and Uganda.