USA TODAY opinion piece, U.S. Traffic Safety Misleads the Public: As GM ignition case shows, technology is emphasized over driver behavior, Sept.2014

AJPH Editorial 20,000  more Americans killed annually because US traffic-safety policy rejects science. Aug. 2014

New paperback copies of classic 1991 Traffic Safety and the Driver available on ($29.95), Kindle ($9.99)

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From the presentation ceremony remarks by Philip C Hessburg MD, President of the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology at Eye and The Auto 2005 World Congress (23 June 2005).

A primary purpose of the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology is to lift a portion of the burden of our fellow man, especially those who suffer from visual challenge. The confiscation of a driver’s permit from someone whose vision slumps slightly below any particular state’s guidelines, with no data whatsoever, anywhere in the world, to show that this loss of vision is associated with an increase in crash rates, imposes a terrible burden on that citizen. Independence, in a society which depends on the automobile, is converted to dependency by loss of a driver’s license. Without supporting data, that is a terrible and irrational burden.

Each year, the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology Board of Directors presents the Bartimaeus Award to someone whose contributions to the field of our world congress are recognized worldwide.

The story of Bartimaeus is told in the gospel according to Mark.  Bartimaeus was a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus.  As he sat by the side of the road begging, he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.  He began to shout, “Son of David, have pity on me.”  Many of the crowd scolded him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the louder.  Jesus stopped and said, “Call him here.” So they called the blind man. “Courage,” they said. “Get up, he is calling you.” Bartimaeus jumped up and went. Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Master, let me see again.” Jesus said, “Go, your faith has saved you.” Immediately his sight returned. 

Making the blind see is the Holy Grail of Ophthalmology. It is also one of the original mission initiatives of the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology.  At the DIO we say we are “Focused: So others might see.” Where, might we all ask, is this more important than when any of us are behind the wheel? 

Tonight we present the Third Bartimaeus Award.  The first was presented to Cynthia Owsley of the University of Alabama for her contribution to the field of driver’s vision. As I remember that night a few years ago, I had difficulty breaking in on Dr Owsley and Betsy Hessburg long enough for her to accept the award. It is sometimes difficult to interrupt mothers who are telling each other lies about the accomplishments of their children.

This year, with the help of Dr Owsley, Keith Cooley and other members of the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology Board of Directors, we present the Bartimaeus Award to Leonard Evans.


First loaded 2005-07-14