UNRSF Supports Traffic Officer Enforcement in Brazil
Read the story on the UNRSF project led by UNECLAC in Brazil as part of the #moments2live4 campaign.
01 Dec 2023

The UN Road Safety Fund project  worked with those on the frontline to cut traffic-related fatalities and injuries thanks to better traffic enforcement in the northern State of Pará in Brazil.

Led by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, in line with Brazil's National Road Safety Plan 2019-2028, the initiative provided targeted training sessions for traffic officers from the Traffic Department, the State Traffic Council, military police, and municipal enforcement agencies.

“The main objectives of the training sessions were to improve the technical capacity of the agents, and to implement best enforcement practices, based on evidence, recommended by the United Nations,” noted Luiz Otávio Maciel, Technical Advisor, DETRAN-PA.

In total 14 training sessions were carried out between 2020-2022, equipping 434 traffic officers with improved technical expertise, with 100% of those trained noting increased skills and confidence, up from 60% in 2019.

“These training sessions came at a very important moment for us. It raised a lot the level of quality in the services provided to society, by creating a visible impact of the service efficiency,” stated Traffic Officer, Caetano de Sousa.

Apart from training sessions, the efforts to strengthen road traffic enforcement included the set-up of a Data Analysis Commission and the development of a State Protocol on traffic enforcement operations. In turn, a bill creating a professional career for traffic officers was submitted to the Legislative Assembly.

Under the project - one of 44 projects financed by the UN Road Safety Fund globally – there was a notable increase in inspection capacity efficiency. In total, traffic agents managed to increase inspections carried out by more than a thousand and also increased breathalyzer tests by more than thirty thousand.

"With more frequent and random DUI enforcement operations, many more people are being tested and advised about the dangers of drink driving. The number of drivers who test positive for alcohol has decreased, showing that people are avoiding drinking and driving," explained Traffic Officer, Laís Medeiros.

As a result, in the State of Pará there was a decrease of around 2% in the death rate per 100,000 population due to road traffic crashes, as well as around 2% in the death rate per 10,000 vehicles.

“The project made a contribution to what we most want, which is to save lives. It has had a high impact, and it has accomplished the most important goal, which is to reduce the number of road traffic deaths by 30% in less than two years," stated Ricardo Sánchez, Logistics and Infrastructure Unit Chief, ECLAC.

The initiative, which has provided frontline training to ensure safer roads for all road users, is a model that has received a 2022 international safety award at the 14th Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, and which has the potential to be replicated and scaled up in other regions across Brazil as well as worldwide.

Since the project ended in 2022, the Brazilian government has continued to reinforce traffic officer enforcement, including a 2023 federal law establishing the National Day of Road Traffic Officers on 11 May.

Read more about the project here.

View a video detailing the results here.

Watch the Traffic Officers in action here.

Find out more about the #moments2live4 Campaign here.