Vision Zero - CDMX, Mexico
Evaluation of new road traffic regulations, specifically speed limits, on crashes, fatalities and air pollution in Mexico City
Road Safety in Mexico City
In Mexico and elsewhere in the world, traffic-related injuries and deaths are a major cause of urban morbidity and mortality.
To address this problem, Mexico City implemented the “Vision Zero” strategy in 2015, which consists of new traffic regulations, such as stricter speed limits, monitoring, and enforcement.
Although the benefits of speed controls are well-established, their health impacts in large cities in low- and middle-income countries have been infrequently investigated.
Additionally, despite their benefits for road safety, some argue that speed control policies can have unintended adverse consequences. For example, driving at slower speeds can lead to longer trips, more idling and congestion, and higher levels of air pollution.
The SALURBAL Study
A team of researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health (INSP) is evaluating the reduction of speed limits and enhancement of speed limit enforcement implemented as a part of the country’s Vision Zero strategy in Mexico City. The study seeks to better understand the impacts -both intended and unintended- of the policy.
The team is examining trends in:
- collision rates,
- rates of collisions with injuries,
- mortality trends, and
- air pollution (NO2 and PM2.5)
… to understand how these trends relate to the reduction of speed limits in the city.
The project is using data from various sources, including public security and health databases and the city’s Atmospheric Monitoring System.
Findings regarding the impact of this phase of the Vision Zero strategy on health and the environment will be relevant to other cities in Mexico and across the region.
Adapting to a changing context: In January 2019, the new government administration made additional changes to road traffic regulations in Mexico City, notably the removal of the economic fines for speeding that had been introduced in 2015. In response, the research team adjusted this study to incorporate an evaluation of the potential impact of these policy changes.
Partnerships and Collaborators
INSP researchers collaborate closely with the Academic Unit for Transport Infrastructure and Sustainability of the Geography Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).They are also working with AXA insurance to gain access to data on traffic collisions. Meetings with the former head of traffic engineering for Mexico City, representatives of government institutions including the National Commission for Accident Prevention(CONAPRA), and non-governmental organizations involved in road safety including Céntrico, the Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions(AMIS), and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) have helped researchers to understand the details of the 2015 policy and data needs. The research team has also met with public servants at the city’s mobility department to discuss the project.