Road safety performance in Brazil: towards a composite indicator

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Jorge Tiago Bastos
Yongjun Shen
Elke Hermans
Tom Brijs
Geert Wets
Antonio Clóvis Pinto Ferraz

The monitoring of the road safety level in Brazil and particularly in its member states traditionally focuses on the available traffic fatality rates. However, this approach does not offer practical suggestions on how to improve road safety. In this context, the usage of Road Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs) is a growing and promising tendency. This research deals with the construction of a set of SPIs intended to serve as good indicators of the operational conditions of the road traffic system in each of the 27 Brazilian states. The set of 28 selected SPIs represents three domains (road user, environment and vehicle) and consists of further subdivisions. The hierarchical structure of the 28 indicators manifests the traditional distinction between the road user (RU), the environment (E) and the vehicle (V) domain of SPIs. In the first domain (1st to 10th indicator), road user behavior decomposes into alcohol (A), cell-phone (CP), protective systems (PS) and speeding (S). Protective systems decompose into seatbelt (SB) and helmet (H). In the second domain, environmental SPIs decompose into road (R) and health system (HS). Road (11th to 20ht indicator), decomposes into central division (CD), signing (SG) and roadside (RS). Signing decomposes into road markings (RM) and vertical signs (VS). Road markings decompose into central (C) and lateral (L). Health system (21st to 23rd indicator) decomposes into health professionals (HP) and health expenditure (HE). In the third domain, vehicle related SPIs (24th to 27th indicator), decompose into fleet composition (FC) and age of the fleet (AF). This paper aims to describe this innovative SPI research in Brazil, using data envelopment analysis to aggregate the SPIs into a composite indicator, as well as to show the potential for supporting future improvements on the theme.

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