Brazil Traffic Plan: Controversial law reduces death toll by road accidents

CCTV News

Brazil Traffic Plan Controversial law reduces death toll by road accidents.00_01_20_21.Still002

There has been a significant drop in the number of people killed in road accidents last year in Sao Paulo. The reason is a controversial initiative that reduced the maximum speed on the city’s busiest roads.

CCTV America’s Paulo Cabral reports.

Brazil Traffic Plan: Controversial law reduces death toll by road accidents

Brazil Traffic Plan: Controversial law reduces death toll by road accidents

There has been a significant drop in the number of people killed in road accidents last year in Sao Paulo. The reason is a controversial initiative that reduced the maximum speed on the city's busiest roads. CCTV America's Paulo Cabral reports.

Sad memories come back to Nilton Gurman when he walks along this street in Sao Paulo. It was here his nephew was run over and killed by a speeding driver who had been drinking.The victim’s family founded an NGO to promote awareness and to advocate tougher laws against irresponsible driving.

“Speeding is the main reason behind traffic accidents in Sao Paulo. And these are accidents that often kill people or leave them with severe injuries,” Dr. Dirceu Alves Jr. of Brazilian Association of Traffic Medicine said.

In response to the accidents, Sao Paulo’s mayor decided to reduce the maximum speed on the main roads of the city to 50 kilometers, about 30 miles per hour. In a metropolis with so many people in a hurry, there was a lot of opposition. 53% were against it according to survey. But new data shows it’s making a difference.

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of people killed in traffic accidents in the city dropped by more the 20% (20.6%) from more than 1,200 (1,249) to fewer than 1000 (992) fatalities.

The goal behind reducing speed limits in Sao Paulo is saving lives. But there’s another positive outcome that may at first sound counter-intuitive: slowing down cars is actually improving traffic across the city.