PAHO - Pan American Health Organization

03/12/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/12/2024 09:23

PAHO, PRF, DNIT, Senatran and UnB launch project to improve road data systems and prevent traffic injuries and deaths in Brazil

Karina Zambrana/PAHO/WHO

Brasilia, March 12, 2024 - To improve road data systems and prevent road traffic injuries and deaths in Brazil, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Federal Highway Police (PRF), the National Department of Transport Infrastructure (DNIT), the National Traffic Secretariat (Senatran) and the Graduate Program in Transport at the University of Brasília (UnB) launched yesterday an initiative to integrate and qualify actions in these sectors.

The project, named "Improving crash prevention on federal highways in Brazil by having a better road data system", is funded by the United Nations Fund for Road Safety (UNFSR).

Jefferson Almeida, General Coordinator of Road Safety at PRF, stated that the initiative seeks vision zero, an approach that recognizes traffic safety as a result of the interrelationship between several components and variables, such as laws, regulations, land use, infrastructure, vehicles and road users. "We need to carry out enforcement, but also point out the problem, suggestions for enhancement, to improve the highways and reduce road crashes", he pointed out.

"The project, in addition to strengthening integration between institutions that work in road safety in Brazil, will allow qualifying information to support effective and timely interventions, with evidence-based actions", said Victor Pavarino, Technical Officer on Road Safety and Prevention of Unintentional Injuries at PAHO and the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Brazil.

In a video recorded message, Veronique Rondeau, Program Officer at UNFSR, assessed that the data driven approach coupled with the dedication of partner institutions, will significantly reduce crashes on Brazilian Federal highways. "This project is just the beginning. May it pave the way for a future where Brazilian roads are not only a vital transport network but also a safe space for all road users".

Daniel Mariz Tavares, deputy director of Senatran's Traffic Safety Department, underlined the importance of integrated actions. "It's not enough to collect the data. We need to understand why crashes occur, where they occur, make the correct diagnosis, propose the correct treatments, and monitor whether these solutions are producing the necessary effects", he listed.

On the same line, the general coordinator of Road Operations at DNIT, Leonardo Silva Rodrigues, highlighted the need to collect information and work together to reduce morbidity and mortality in traffic. "The richer the database, the more assertive we will be in countermeasures and the more satisfactory results we will achieve", he assessed.

The chief of staff of UnB Dean's Office, Paulo Cesar Marques, said that it is "a great pleasure to join this team" and mentioned that the project is an example of how, in addition to producing and structuring knowledge, the university can contribute to solving problems to benefit Brazil and the humanity.

According to the most recent data from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the country recorded 33,894 deaths in 2022. In addition to the lives lost, traffic injuries lead to serious injuries and sequelae, provoking suffering, causing disabilities, placing a burden on healthcare services, and generating loss of productivity.

Therefore, strengthening road safety, from a health perspective, is one of PAHO's priorities. The Organization has technically cooperated with Brazil and other countries and territories in the Americas in supporting policies to reduce morbidity and mortality from road traffic crashes, improve legislation and promote sustainable mobility.