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Raúl Alberto Peniche Mendoza

Angélica María Urgel Montiel

Edgar Mendoza Rodríguez


Training Department

Legal Representative

Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, México.

Retorno Laguna Azul Norte Manzana 72 lote 18

Tel: 52 9382865209 Cel- 9931756024

ZIP CODE: 24140


The 13 Basic Traffic Safety Rules for Drivers are the response to the immediate causes
which give birth to traffic accidents; performed by drivers, these are called “Unsafe Acts”
and are detected in the statistical analysis of the accident in a given time lapse, they
show that 20% of unsafe acts which add up with the 80% of all the cases, prioritizing and
generating more force in preventive actions.

The 13 Basic Traffic Safety Rules for Drivers are edited as brief and pro-positive
instructions telling the driver what he should do in order to perform a safe driving; being
spread, understood and respected by drivers they allow to generate an appreciation of
the risk fomenting the culture of responsibility and self care, this is because when a
traffic incident happens, at least two of the Basic Traffic Rules for Drivers are violated;
when you are driving and realize the unsafe act before the accident happens you can
decrease in a 50% the probability to suffer a traffic accident.

KEY WORDS: Safety, Traffic, Rules.


Traffic accidents are the outbreak of our time, they cause pain and suffering to our
society and they are a poverty source due to the fact that the people involved in those
accidents is in the 18-55 years of age range. At this time of life is when the highest
quantity of income is made so, when a traffic accident happens is not only the driver’s
life that is wasted but also a whole lot of experiences and a human potential to generate
wealth; an estimate of this economic loss is in the range of 1.5% of I.G.P (Internal Gross

In México, more than 17,000 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2007 (2); this gives a
panoramic view of the size of the problem which demands the coordinated attention of
all the actors involved with this traffic accident rate.

Lack of both an official department and coordination with governmental institutions

dilute the responsibility to avoid these traffic incidents, therefore programs leading to
decrease these incidents in federal roads and urban zones are not established.

Every day traffic incidents and the lack of political will are elements that affect and
impede the right visualization of the size of the phenomena, and because of its social
impact it becomes a public health problem.

Back in 2004, the World Health Organization asked for taking actions to control and avoid
these incidents to happen, to many countries in the world.

One of the most important points is the driver education; this education shall be founded
in values, such as prudence, responsibility, courtesy and honesty jus t to mention a few
of them.

Usually, traffic accidents are due to unsafe acts we make when driving a vehicle, these
mistakes, most of them involuntary, are related violations to Traffic Regulations. Such
violations are committed by the driver and he is not aware of them until it is too late,
when the accident happens; we must work upon these unsafe acts so they can be
discovered and controlled before the accident happens.

(1.- WHO, World Health Organization, 2004, World report about traumatisms
caused by traffic, Genève)

(2.- Arturo Cervantes Trejo, CONAPRA, Conferencia Ministerial Naciones Unidas,

March 31st 2008, New York)

According to Frank Bird’s Causes of Accidents Model, accidents are consequence of

administrative errors made when planning, organizing and controlling actual projects.

This Model states the following:


Limit Capacity
Systems Personal Unsafe Acts Unintentional
Standards Factors Unsafe Damage or
Compliance Work Factors Conditions Injuries

1 Causes of Accidents Model

The most enhanced view in this Model are the consequences of the accident, whether the
vehicle resistance capacity was exceeded or the individual causing injuries and/or
material losses, both of them caused by the contact with an energy source which
surpassed the resistance limits.

The Basic Traffic Safety Rules for Drivers are inspired in the immediate causes which
allow the existence of the unsafe act which in turn detonates the occurrence of the
accident seconds before it happens.

If we are able to discover these unsafe acts, the sequence of events to reach the accident
is interrupted and therefore the traffic accident does not happen.

Unsafe Acts are defined as “…those abnormal or substandard actions within an

operative procedure, it is an action performed by an individual putting at risk his own
and/or someone else’s safety. Examples of unsafe acts are:

Driving a vehicle with no driver’s license.

Drunk driving.

Driving with no safety belt on.


Drug abuse when driving.

Lack of inspection of a vehicle before using it.

Not making signals to other drivers.

Use of a vehicle with no maintenance (damaged vehicle).

Not paying attention or playing jokes.

In order to make this paper, the Public Safety Ministry daily reports of the 2007 first
semester in the City and Port of Campeche, México were used. With 398 cases, the
following most important unsafe acts were found:

People don’t check the vehicle before using it.

People don’t use the safety belt.

People perform drunk driving.

People hit the front car for not maintaining a safe distance between cars.

People crash their vehicles in crossroads.

People make sudden maneuvers without making signals to other drivers.

Minors driving vehicles, with no driving license.

People drive vehicles at night when tired.

People drive vehicles using their cell phones or leave unattended the steering wheel.
People drive vehicles in an altered emotional state.

People don’t respect speed limits.

People are negligent when dangerous conditions exist in the road.

People are not kind when emergency vehicles ask for open lanes.

Once the frequent unsafe acts are detected as the immediate cause of traffic accidents,
they are revised by the work team in order to write them as an instruction so they can be
easily understood by drivers, it shall not be seen as an order but as an instruction for his
benefit; they are as follows:

1.- Check your vehicle before using it, check around it, tires internal pressure, lube and
hydraulic oil levels and gasoline tank level.

2.- Use your safety belt and verify the passengers use it as well, babies and children
must ride in the back seats using safety-seats.

3.- Leave your car keys if you are going to drink alcoholic beverages, use taxis or a
designated driver.

4.- Always keep a safety distance from the front car, apply the 3 seconds rule.

5.- Slow the speed of your vehicle in intersections or crossroads, watch out for
pedestrians, bikers or motorcyclists.

6.- Be preventive, advise or make signals in time for what you are about to make and
start your car headlights on when you are in a highway during the day.

7.- Minors under 18 years of age shall drive in the company of an adult who knows how
to drive. Avoid minors drive alone or at night.

8.- Avoid driving when you are tired and between 02:00-05:00 A.M.

9.- Avoid driving with children in your lap, pets or using cell phones, better stop the
vehicle in the road shoulder or the sidewalk.

10.- If you are in an emotionally altered state, avoid driving or control yourself, be
prudent and kind (courteous).

11.- Car speed in front of schools is 20 KPH, residential areas 30 KPH, streets 40 KPH,
avenues 60 KPH.

12.- Slow your car speed when there’s a danger ahead and control one risk at a time, be

13.- Emergency vehicles with an open siren have preference of pass, slow your vehicle
speed and go to your right side, to the sidewalk or to the road shoulder.
Once you have this redaction, proceed to get the approbatory signature by the
multidisciplinary external group which gives its points of view to improve redaction and
add up what it thinks is more convenient to impress the driver.

Once approved by the Authority, next step is to prepare the materiel to be delivered to
the media; it consists in the following:

5.1.- The Driver Manual containing the 13 Basic Traffic Safety Rules for Drivers with
photographs related to every Rule; the methodology to make the presentation includes
an explanation about BTSRDs, it’s reason to exist and a conclusion with a slogan
reinforcing the emotional content of every Rule.


Raúl Alberto Peniche Mendoza

Traffic Safety is everyone's committment

2 BTSRD Manual
5.2.- A BTSRDs AVI Format 8 minutes video presentation for persons who do not know
how to read. This presentation shall be made in such a manner that these persons may
visualize and listen the video content.

3 BTSRD Video
5.3.- A plastic card (ID type) with the 13 BTSRD on one side and emergency phone
numbers on the other so the driver can take it in his wallet and, should an accident
happen, ask for help to emergency services immediately.

4 Plastic pocket card

5.4.- A wall poster with the 13 BTSRD, in the bottom layer of the poster (as a background)
photos of local cementery crypts, and all this surrounded by a frame with car crashes
photographs, taken during the time lapse of analysis,

5 Wall poster

The local maximum Authority, in a public event, announces the 13 BTSRDs stating it’s
worry about the increasing car accident rate frequency, asking people to start respecting
these 13 BTSRD which will be delivered to them, one Rule every week, with the
collaboration of an opinion leader committed with traffic accidents prevention and also,
thru mass media channels such as Newspapers, Radio, Television and Internet as well,
for a higher community coverage.

It is understood that this 13 BTSRD info will be delivered to a driver when he requests his
driver’s license. After an evaluation of the learning of the driver’s driving skills, this
evaluation performed by a Traffic Instructor, the 13 BTSRD-plastic card will be delivered
to the new driver.


Selected at random, 1000 drivers will be questioned about the knowledge of this
campaign in order to know his understanding level of the 13 BTSRDs using a checklist.

When analyzing results versus accident rate, we can expect a 10 to 50 % decrease in

frequency and seriousness of damages.

At the end of the 13 week campaign the Authority will let know the results of the actions
taken and the accident rate reduction, thanking people for their cooperation and support,
asking them to drive kindly and carefully.

The campaign will be held for 13 weeks, the plastic card delivery when requesting a
driver’s license and evaluation will be held all year long.

The multidisciplinary group will meet in November to carry on the statistical analysis,
later on, in January, they will again start and present to the public the campaign with
revised and new BTSRDs.

Realizing the size of the risk when driving a vehicle must be in accordance with reality,
this is because the driver feels he is safe inside the vehicle, however, if the most
common unsafe acts are known to and observed by drivers, they will be aware that they
are reaching a dangerous situation and shall perform whatever is necessary to avoid the
traffic incident; observing the 13 BTSRDs we are fomenting the self-care culture and
directing our strength to highly effective actions which significantly reduce traffic
accident rate. This campaign was carried out in Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, México
with a 10% effective reduction in traffic accidents when comparing first and second
semester of the year 2007.

The 13 Basis Traffic Safety Rules for Drivers are permanent safety measures and they are
updated every year according to accident rate frequency, keeping up to reality.


+ Det Norske Veritas (1999) Modern Management of Safety and Loss Control. USA

+ Ramírez Cavassa Cesar (1992) Manual of Industrial Safety, Grupo Noriega Editores
México D.F.