PA 16-2-1073 Design and implementation of an initiative to reduce driving speed as a risk factor for road traffic injuries (RTI)

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Abstract

Objective

To design and implement an educational initiative to reduce driving speed with local law enforcement (LLE) of the city of Cuernavaca, Morelos.

Methodology

A quasi-experimental study was carried out using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The quantitative portion was obtaining Cuernavaca’s driving speed prevalence using a laser speed detection device; a legislation review about speed limits and the application of a ‘knowledge’ survey on speed limits, driving speed and safe driving to LLE. The qualitative portion was semi-structured interviews to LLE to explore their risk perception of driving speed and the correct application of legislation. All portions of the study served as inputs for the design of an educational initiative (using the Precede-Procede methodology) aimed at strengthening the technical capacities of LLE to apply the current regulations.

Results

47% of the vehicles observed were driving above the speed limit. The knowledge survey indicated that LLE identified speed as a risk factor for RTI, however they don’t have technical knowledge on speed control and safe driving; we also found that current legislation stablishes appropriate speed limits (40 km/hr urban areas and 20 km/hr in school areas). 24 LLE officers participated in the initiative; the findings coincide with the information obtained from interviews, the capacity of officers to enforce regulation on speed is diminished due the lack of speed measurement equipment and their reduced technical capabilities.

Conclusion

The speed prevalence, analyzing legislation, obtaining information from interviews and implementing the initiative, helped documented ‘speed’ in the LLE’s working context and to identify their limitations that hinders the application of speed regulation. For a local speed control strategy to be successful in reducing RTI, a modification of this context is necessary. This study also provides enough evidence to be the starting point on the documentation of driving speed as a risk factor.

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