Beyond blaming people: why journalists must dig deep into the causes of road crashes

Road safety

Workshop for Asian journalists aims to strengthen reporting on road safety

‘When looking at the causes of crashes, it is key to ask where the data comes from, and the mindset of those pulling that data together,’ says David Shelton, Senior Transport Specialist at the Asian Development Bank, at a workshop for journalists in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

‘I would urge you all to think carefully about this,’ he says to the 16 reporters from Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Viet Nam attending the three-day Road Safety Reporting training. ‘In many countries, most data comes from the police. Yet their main concern is assigning blame for a past event rather than preventing future trauma.’ 

Several journalists at the workshop, as well as from a number of African countries, tell WHO that police reports are their main, and often only, source of information when reporting on crashes. Yet this can mean using incomplete data, and may lead to missed opportunities to share proven, life-saving solutions to the global road safety crisis

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Contact Person

Dave Shelton
Senior Transport Specialist (Road Safety)
Asian Development Bank