Image Credits: Gustavo Roth/EPTC-PMPA (above and right)

Port Alegre is the first city in Brazil to develop a project with the SR4S tool to improve road safety for pedestrians around schools.

On the 8 November 2019, the Caminho Seguro Project was launched in a partnership between the Thiago Gonzaga FoundationPorto Alegre City Hall and iRAP.

The pilot programme aims to assess the safety of the road infrastructure around the schools and implement improvements to ensure a safer journey for students. According to an EPTC (Public Agency of Transport and Traffic) survey, 40% of road crashes involving children and adolescents in Porto Alegre are pedestrian crashes. Using the SR4S application, the project aims to identify the main safety and investment priorities of the school zones in terms of infrastructure.

This is an important step for Porto Alegre towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goals 3, 4 and 11 – “Health and Well-being”, “Quality Education” and “Sustainable Cities and Communities”. In addition, the use of the Star Rating for Schools methodology meets the “Vision Zero” perspective, aligning the capital with other cities that are pioneers in the best road safety practices in the world.

The ceremony was attended by the President of the Thiago Gonzaga Foundation, Regis Gonzaga; the Secretary of Infrastructure and Urban Mobility, Marcelo Gazen and representatives from iRAP – Regional Director the Americas, Julio Urzua and the Star Rating for Schools Global Coordinator, Rafaela Machado.

At the Caminho Seguro Project launch, iRAP’s Regional Director the Americas Julio Urzua highlighted the importance of shared responsibility and political commitment to achieve road safety improvements around schools.

“More than 40,000 Brazilians lose their lives in traffic crashes every year and about 300,000 are injured. We do our part and we need the government to join us in defending life,” Julio said.

In addition, the entire school community – students, teachers, fathers and mothers – will be involved in the project, through educational and awareness actions carried out by the Thiago Gonzaga Foundation and EPTC, with the aim of developing habits that reduce the risk of crashes and fatality and serious injury. In this first stage of the Safe Path (Caminho Seguro), five schools will be addressed. The assessments will begin early December 2019, with the educational and awareness activities planned for the beginning of the 2020 school year.

“It is only through education that we will be able to change this real war that is traffic. We need to preserve the lives of our children and young people,” said Regis Gonzaga.

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