crash test dummy Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Reducir la velocidad para salvar vidas

NUEVA YORK – Si apenas redujéramos la velocidad, podríamos salvar muchas vidas en todo el planeta. Cada año más de 1,25 millones de personas -muchos de ellos jóvenes- mueren en accidentes automovilísticos. Alrededor de un tercio de esta cifra es evitable, ya que se debe a vehículos que viajan a exceso de velocidad. En los países de ingresos bajos y medios, esa cifra se acerca a la mitad.

Independientemente de donde uno habite, acelerar es un problema letal. Los estudios muestran que, en la mayoría de las carreteras y países, el 40-50% de los coches viajan por encima del límite de velocidad establecido. Y si un coche está acelerando o no, puede marcar la diferencia entre la vida y la muerte. Por ejemplo, si alguien recibe un golpe de un vehículo que viaja a 80 kilómetros por hora, corre el triple de riesgo morir que si hubiera sido a 50 kilómetros por hora.

Esto significa que se podrían salvar muchas vidas si se fijaran límites urbanos de velocidad a 50 kilómetros por hora o menos, y permitir a las autoridades locales reducirlos aún más alrededor de las escuelas y otras áreas con alto tráfico de peatones. Es alentador que, en todo el mundo, 47 países ya estén aplicando estas medidas de sentido común. Pero debemos hacer mucho más para ampliar su alcance y asegurar que más gobiernos las adopten.

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