Brazil Targets Drink Driving on the Road to Fewer Deaths: Despite a Longstanding Commitment to Improving Road Safety, Brazil's Numerous Initiatives Have Suffered from Weak Enforcement. Tough New Legislation Backed by Even Tougher Policing Promises a New Start
Jurberg, Claudia, Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Jonas Licurgo Ferreira was drunk the night he crashed his car. The 41-year-old resident of Rio de Janeiro had been drinking heavily with a soldier friend who was messing around with a gun in the car when it happened. He hit a post. The gun went off, putting a bullet into Ferreira's spine. "Now I am paraplegic because of a gunshot" he says. But he knows that the real harm was done by the alcohol. "If we had not been drinking so much my friend would not have been playing with the gun, and I would not have hit the post."
Ferreira is just one of 600 000 people involved in crashes on Brazilian roads each year who live to talk about it. Another 40 000 are not so lucky. Brazil, the world's fifth most populous country, ranks also fifth in terms of annual road traffic mortality with 18 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants, according to WHO. Until recently those numbers were getting steadily worse.
In February 2011, a traffic collision monitoring system was launched by Brazil's justice ministry in collaboration with the Sangari Institute, a non-profit organization. The system found that between 1998 and 2008 the number of annual deaths on Brazil's roads had increased by 20% (from 31000 to 39 000). Within that steep increase were hidden some even more alarming trends, notably a fourfold increase in cyclist fatalities and more than a sevenfold leap in motorcycle deaths to nearly 9000 in 2008. The …
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Publication information: Article title: Brazil Targets Drink Driving on the Road to Fewer Deaths: Despite a Longstanding Commitment to Improving Road Safety, Brazil's Numerous Initiatives Have Suffered from Weak Enforcement. Tough New Legislation Backed by Even Tougher Policing Promises a New Start. Contributors: Jurberg, Claudia - Author. Journal title: Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Volume: 89. Issue: 7 Publication date: July 2011. Page number: 474+. © 1990 World Health Organization. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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