Violence and Injury Prevention

Road safety in Brazil

Make Roads Safe

The Global status report on road safety 2013 estimates that more than 43 800 people are killed in road traffic crashes in Brazil every year. Road traffic crashes are a leading cause of death, injury and hospitalization, resulting in high economic and social costs. The majority (52%) of people killed in traffic are vulnerable road users – pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists. Brazil is one of the countries included in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme which is being conducted over five years (2010-2014) by a consortium of international partners together with national governments and local organizations.


Brazil road safety project

The overall goal of the Vida no Trânsito, as the project is known in Brazil, is to support the Government of Brazil to implement good practices in road safety in line with the national road safety policy. The principal objective of the project is to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries, by preventing drink–driving and speeding.

In the context of the project in Brazil, WHO assesses legislation and advises on possible improvements, develops social marketing campaigns and measures their impact, hosts workshops for journalists, and provides road safety equipment to local implementers. The Global Road Safety Partnership trains the police on enforcement and supports NGOs in their advocacy efforts, while Johns Hopkins University conducts monitoring and evaluation activities.

The project is being implemented in:

  • Belo Horizonte
  • Campo Grande
  • Curitiba
  • Palmas
  • Teresina

The combined population of these focus cities is almost 6 million people.

WHO-supported activities

Legislation reform

In 2011, WHO conducted a thorough review of Brazil’s Federal road traffic safety regulatory system, assessing the comprehensiveness of the Federal laws and regulations. The report identified gaps related to drink–driving and speeding, as well as weak enforcement provisions. Since then WHO has facilitated collaboration through technical workshops and discussions with political leaders to formulate evidence-based policies related primarily to drink–driving and speeding. These activities have contributed to improved legislative and regulatory provisions on these topics.

Social marketing

WHO produces evidence-based mass media campaigns after extensive research and testing conducted with target audiences. The following social marketing campaign to prevent drink–driving has been developed and aired in Brazil.

Drinking And Driving Kills (2013)

Working with the media

Media reporting on road safety is an important mechanism for raising awareness among the general public and promoting specific policy changes by policy-makers. Between December 2012 and September 2013, WHO organized a series of workshops on general road safety concepts. The workshops were attended by more than 100 journalists in five cities. In preparation for these workshops, an assessment of media coverage of road safety was conducted on a random sample of about 600 news items.