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The current state of road safety legislation in the region of the Americas
  1. C Incln-Valadez*,
  2. R Péez-Núnez,
  3. M Hijar-Medina
  1. Correspondence National Institute of Public Health, Universidad No. 655 Col. Santa Mara Ahuacatitln Cerrada los Pinos y Caminera Cuernavaca Morelos 62100, Mexico

Abstract

Introduction The legislation over main of the road traffic injury risk factors and its accurate applicability is essential for developing an integral culture of road safety. The analysis of the level of progression in the law enforcement allows evaluating the state of world regions in a positive and realistic way, highlighting their assets and gaps.

Objective To analyse the level of progression of road safety legislation in the region of the Americas.

Methodology A secondary analysis of the 2008-Global status report on road safety survey was undertaken to evaluate legislation on five risk factors (speed management, drinking and driving, motorcycle helmet use, use of seatbelt and use of child restrains) in the Americas. Laws were classified depending on their level of progression: existence of legislation, existence of adequate legislation, law enforcement ≤6 (on a scale of 0–10) and comprehensive law.

Results The totality of the countries has national or sub-national legislations in at least one of the five risk factors. However, a reduced 66% have laws on the five risk factors, and none of them have comprehensive laws in all five risk factors. The use of helmet appears as the most extended enforced legislation, while the use of child restrains the least one. When comparing subregions, the panorama is highly differentiated.

Conclusions The region of the Americas stands in different moments of progression. Improvement in law enforcement is still needed in the region although there are positive efforts that should be recognised particularly in terms of the existence of legislation over the five risk factors studied. Laws should be based on evidence on what is already known to be more effective.

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