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Evaluation of new road traffic regulations, specifically speed limits, on crashes, fatalities and air pollution in Mexico City

Image of a highway in Mexico

Project Summary

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, consisting of new regulations such as stricter speed limits, monitoring, and enforcements. Although the benefits of speed controls are well-established, their health impact in large cities low- and middle-income countries has been infrequently investigated.  It has been posited that despite their benefits for road safety, 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.

A team of researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health (INSP) will conduct an evaluation of Vision Zero in Mexico City to better understand its impacts, both intended and unintended. The team will examine the policy in relation to rates of crashes, rates of fatal crashes, and effects on air pollution.  The project will integrate data from various sources including public security and health databases and the city’s Atmospheric Monitoring System. Working with project partners, the team will geocode traffic crashes along with roads characteristics and speed camera locations. The project’s three outcomes of interest are: the number of crashes, the number of traffic-related fatalities, and levels of air pollution. Interrupted time series analyses will be used to evaluate the impact of speed limits on study outcomes. 

Findings on the impact of the Vision Zero strategy on health and the environment will be relevant to other cities in Mexico and across the region. 

Research Team

Carolina Pérez-Ferrer, Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional, INSP
Tonatiuh Barrientos Gutierrez,  Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional, INSP
Luis Chías Becerril, Unidad Académica de Geotecnología en Infraestructura, Transporte y Sustentabilidad, Instituto de Geografía, UNAM
Jose Luis Texcalac Sangrador, Dirección de Salud Ambiental, Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional, INSP
Horacio Riojas Rodríguez,  Dirección de Salud Ambiental, Centro de Investigación en Salud Poblacional, INSP
Javier Prado Galbarro, Proyecto SALURBAL, Centro de Investigación en Salud  Poblacional, INSP


The SALURBAL (Salud Urbana en América Latina, or “Urban Health in Latin America”) project is implementing this evaluation with support from the Wellcome Trust [205177/Z/16/Z].