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Emergency Medical Services and Highway Safety

William Haddon Jr, MD
JAMA. 1980;244(21):2413-2414. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310210015008.
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To the Editor.—  The MEDICAL NEWS article, "A Capsule History of US Emergency Medical Care" (1980;243:1019), contains major errors of omission and commission. First, the National Highway Safety Act of 1966, signed by President Johnson in September of that year, did not just authorize funding of emergency medical services and projects; it also directed the agency, which became the present National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to issue standards for state highway safety programs that were specifically to include one for emergency services. The National Academy of Sciences study, Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society, was actually published many weeks after the act was passed, by which time initial discussions were already being held between the then National Highway Safety Bureau and representatives of the governors of all 50 states. These discussions resulted in the appointment by mid-1967 by each governor of a coordinator, whose job


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