The 22nd ITMA world congress in Chongqing was a great success. All arrangements were superb and the scientific quality of the presentations and research behind them were better than ever before. At the congress professor Zheng Guo Wang also presented a new comprehensive text book in "Modern Traffic Medicine". This was a thick volume covering all different aspects of what we consider to be Traffic Medicine. Most chapters are in Chinese but with a short summary in English. For all Chinese doctors, psychologists, engineers, decision makers and traffic police officers this must mean a great leap forward for Chinese Traffic Medicine.
The congress was impressively covered by journalists, still- and movie-photographers from different Chinese media. As usual at our congresses the delegates from the hosting country dominated in number of presentations but impressive contributions from different areas of the world formed an important part of the congress. Among the 300 delegates countries like the United States, Canada, Sweden, Brazil, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, Australia, Egypt, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia were found. Member of ITMA board and ITMA director for Northern America professor Donald Redelmeier was awarded the ITMA award for outstanding contributions in the field of Traffic Medicine. With a historic review our president emeritus Leonard Evans contributed to our celebrating this year also being the 50th anniversary of ITMA.
At the ITMA board and members meeting some important decisions were taken that will mean new energy and renewal for ITMA for the future. Decisions on not to re-elect some of the regional directors were supported even by these directors themselves and leave ITMA with the opportunity to find and elect new candidates in electronic board meetings between this and our next congress. New delegates for eastern Asia (professor Masahito Hitosugi), western Asia (professor Jihong Zhou) were immediately elected and dr Ying Wang who was the former regional director for East Asia has been elected as the new secretary in the ITMA executive committee. After the congress a new candidate for the Middle East region has been suggested and the work to find new eager candidates for Africa, Eastern Europe and South America continues.
As a very strong candidate for the ITMA world congress in 2013, Germany (Hamburg) emerged. Suggestions from Brazil, Japan and as before South Africa are still on the agenda for the next one in 2015. I am especially pleased to see that the tradition to hold every other congress in a developing country has good chances to continue.
For everyone who has chosen to be an ITMA member the reward of having such interesting places for congresses around the world to travel to and share ideas in, might be enough to stay as a member. But we have also arranged for all ITMA members to get electronic access to the scientific journal TIP (Traffic Injury and Prevention) that we share with our sister organizations AAAM (Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine), IRCOBI (International Research Committee on Biomechanics of Injury) and ICADTS (International Council of Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety). We have also decided to keep the membership fee as low as 85 USD and with the possibility to get reductions in this for persons with low income still in force.
All thanks from me and ITMA to all organizers in Chongqing and especially to the president of the congress professor Zheng Guo Wang who is also elected to become the next ITMA president the day I decide to leave office. The proportion of Chinese members in ITMA leadership has increased after the congress and considering the amount of people living in China, the enormous growth of Chinese economy and traffic, this seems very appropriate. For both China and the rest of the world ITMA hopes to be able to offer an arena for future mutual scientific and societal progress and sharing between all parts of the world.
Lars Englund, ITMA president