Training and supervision ar

Publicação: 13 de March de 2013

Acidentes com motocicletas

The circulation of motorcycles in corridors (driving in the gap between two vehicles) coupled with inexperience and recklessness, is the perfect combination for accidents

In three years, the cost to the National Health System (SUS) of hospitalizations for motorcycle accidents has more than doubled. Information from the National Traffic Department (Denatran) highlights the importance of taking preventive measures and enforcing old rules, including the license to work as a motorcycle courier required by the National Traffic Council (Contran), which became effective nationwide last February 28.

Artur Carlos de Morais, Professor at the University of Brasilia (UNB) and an expert in transit, says the circulation of motorcycles in corridors (driving in the gap between two other vehicles) coupled with inexperience and recklessness is the perfect combination for accidents. “Because they are narrow and agile vehicles compared to other motorized vehicles, motorbike drivers maneuver unexpectedly in traffic, like overtaking on the right”, he observes.

He believes that the training and evaluation that motorcycle drivers go through to get their license does not prepare them for real traffic. “After they get their license, they are immediately on the road and the behavior of some other drivers endangers these novices”, he says.

Morais says that in places where there is no policing – as in many small towns – helmets are not even used. He says the traffic is dangerous in all regions of the country, but is worst when public authorities overlook the mandatory use of helmets and qualification. “This state of affairs can be witnessed in any part of the Brazilian countryside”, he laments.

Empowering is fundamental
“Proper training of drivers is the first attitude that authorities must tackle”, argues the expert. He suggests that this process be divided into two stages: the first stage in virtual simulators and the second in real traffic. “The behavior of drivers has to change. To achieve this requires intensive work with education and enforcement”, he says, while stating that drivers must be aware that they are the weakest link in traffic.

Dangerous traffic
“The traffic inBrazilis unsafe, so motorbikes are also unsafe”, he says. He says that this mode of transport will no longer be dangerous when traffic overall in the country improves. He says that the vehicle is just one element of safety. “We also need decent road infrastructure, proper signage, consistent law, manners, supervision, respect, training etc.” He thinks that none of these are currently to standard inBraziland that the motorbike is part of a series of errors, omissions and technical ignorance – which makes it even more unsafe.

According to the UnB professor, the situation deteriorates when the road is wet. “Rain increases the traffic hazard”, he warns. He says that on rainy days motorcycles should only be used by those who are skillful and who meet safety standards. “You need to slow down, not drive in corridors, use accessories that make you visible and stay away from other vehicles, otherwise it is better to take the bus”.

Pernambuco sets an example
The governor of the state of Pernambuco, Eduardo Campos, established the State Committee for Prevention of Motorcycle Accidents, through Decree No. 36,568, published in the Diário Oficial on 28/05/2012. The goal is to create a new project to tackle the high rates of motorbike accidents, which cause fatalities, disabilities, psychological side effects and has an economic impact, especially on the public health system. The Committee is responsible for devising strategies to minimize the number of motorcycle accidents in the State, with the State Department of Health (SES) as coordinator.

According to the expert, the initiative is an example for other States. He highlights the need to construct three pillars, which he deems essential: education, enforcement and engineering.

Morais says that in order to reduce accidents, there has to be well-planned, designed, constructed and maintained road infrastructure with adequate signage and training of citizens for safe traffic, he observes. “As soon as they start school, kids should be taught to behave properly in traffic”, he says.

Finally, he suggests including the topic in the school curriculum and that citizens who do not behave properly receive punishment.

Country town of Maranhão prohibits the enforcement of motorcyclists
The City Council of a small town in Maranhão State has just approved a law that prohibits the police from monitoring bikers. The justification is that many residents rely on motorbikes for a living and they live in extreme poverty and are semi-literate.

“No license, no helmet and with a child on the back”, says one resident.

The Federal Prosecutor wants the law to be annulled and considers it unconstitutional.…