Violence and Injury Prevention

Road safety in Mexico

WHO/J. Jimenez

The Global status report on road safety 2013 estimates that more than 16 700 people are killed in road traffic crashes in Mexico every year. Most of those killed or injured on Mexico’s roads are between 15 and 29 years old. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists account for more than a third of all fatalities. Mexico 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.

Mexico road safety project

The overall goal of Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme in Mexico is to support the National Road Safety Programme in the country to implement good practices in road safety in order to reduce deaths and injuries resulting from road traffic collisions. The focus of the project is on reducing drink–driving and promoting seat-belt wearing.

In the context of the project in Mexico, 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:

  • Aguascalientes
  • Guadalajara
  • León
  • Merida
  • Toluca
  • Tuxtla Gutierrez

The combined population of these focus cities is around 6.7 million people. In 2014, the project will focus on Guadalajara and León.

Key results

In Guadalajara there has been an increase in the percentage of drivers wearing seat-belts from 52% to 68% between 2010 and 2013.

WHO-supported activities


Since 2008, WHO has supported and facilitated collaboration through technical workshops and discussions with political leaders to improve laws and regulations related to the prevention of drink–driving and the promotion of seat-belts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints. These activities have contributed to improvements in, for example, drink–driving legislation in the State of Jalisco and in León in the State of Guanajuato, including the reduction in limits of Blood Alcohol Concentration levels and better enforcement measures aimed at reducing drink–driving.

Social marketing

WHO produces evidence-based mass media campaigns after extensive research and testing conducted with target audiences. The following social marketing campaigns to prevent drink–driving and promote seat-belts have been developed and aired in Mexico.

Drinking And Driving Is Also Violence (2012)

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 November 2012 and March 2013, WHO organized workshops in four cities on general road safety concepts. These were attended by 90 local journalists and editors.