Safe mobility, a constitutional right in Mexico
Considering the mobility challenges seen in recent years, Mexico has been pressured to develop a firmer attitude toward the importance of safe mobility in the country.
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Push for cars
Ranked sixth in the world in automobile production until 2020, Mexico is now ranked 7th. According to the latest data released by the international organization of automobile manufacturers OICA, Mexico produced 3.15mn cars in 2021, down 1% year-over-year.
Meanwhile, it’s Latin American neighbors down south posted increases last year. While Brazil rose 12% to 2.24mn units, Argentina jumped a record 69% to 434,753 units, the most significant increase of all the 39 automobile producing countries.
Automakers and related businesses are pushing to bring numbers up in Mexico but before doing so, the country – including corporate fleet managers – needs to prepare for safer mobility, considering some of the worrisome statistics in the country.
Approximately 16,000 road related fatalities occur in Mexico per year and they are more than just drivers. Vulnerable users are most affected, with 23% being pedestrians.
2021 Volkswagen Taos, one of the latest cars receiving 5 stars from Latin NCAP testing (courtesy of Latin NCAP)
Push for Safer Mobility
Many may not know but Mexico is one of the few countries in the world where safe mobility is recognized as a constitutional right.
In 2020, a reform of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States was approved to include mobility and road safety, recognizing the right to mobility regarding accessibility, efficiency, sustainability, quality, inclusion, and equality.
As this gave the green light for congress to legislate issues on the matter, it led to the new General Law on Mobility and Road Safety, which was unanimously approved by the Senate in April 2022.
“Our goal is to raise awareness in society and government about the terrible consequences that crashes cause to families and the economy…This mobility and road safety bill cares about the human rights of road crash victims,” says Alma Chavez of Víctimas de Violencia Vial, NGO coalition member supporting the new legislation.
The proposal contemplates improvements in public transportation, mandatory use of helmets, blood alcohol concentration regulations, and the creation of a National Mobility and Road Safety System.
The new policy also establishes a transportation hierarchy for the planning, design, and implementation of public policies, where pedestrians are prioritized, followed by cyclists, users and providers of public transport, and then drivers of motorized vehicles and commercial vehicles.
Note that fleet drivers represent the bottom of the hierarchy, so fleet managers, make sure your drivers are well versed on the intricacies of driving safely and efficiently on Mexican roads.
The NGO coalition pushing for the changes is hoping that neighboring countries will follow suit. Already in Chile, Alliance member Conciencia Vial has presented a formal request for inclusion into the constitutional process, based on the Mexican case.