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  • 16 septiembre, 2016
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CAF

No más sueños truncados en las vías

Por Hilda Gómez, experta en transporte en CAF –Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina-

La semana pasada los dos hijos de mi amigo Alejandro fallecieron. David, ingeniero de 31 años, y su hermano Andrés, bibliotecario de 25, salieron a jugar fútbol el domingo por la mañana. El vehículo en que viajaban perdió el control al pasar sobre un charco de agua, chocando  contra el pilar de un puente. David falleció instantáneamente; Andrés en el hospital. Ahí se truncaron sus sueños y proyectos.

Este siniestro no debió haber ocurrido o, al menos, sus consecuencias no debieron ser tan graves. Como sociedad tenemos la responsabilidad de evitar que estos casos provoquen muertes o discapacidades permanentes por falta de conciencia y acción para prevenirlos. Este debe ser el compromiso con nuestros hijos, familiares y nosotros mismos, que a diario usamos las vías asumiendo riesgos que son evitables, considerando “normal” que ocurran estos hechos.

Anualmente en América Latina mueren más de 110.000 personas en las vías, según datos de la Organización Mundial de la Salud. Cerca del 40% están entre 15 y 34 años, como David y Andrés: jóvenes iniciando su vida, llenos de sueños y proyectos. A esas cifras debemos sumarle la de los heridos que quedan con secuelas permanentes, estimados de manera conservadora en 6 por cada fallecido, es decir, más de 600.000 al año.

Las vías deben ser sitios donde todos los usuarios estemos seguros, tanto en las ciudades (donde ocurren la mayoría de los siniestros), como en carretera. Esto se denomina el “Sistema Vial Seguro”, que tiene los siguientes principios fundamentales: los humanos comentemos errores; el cuerpo humano tiene una resistencia limitada a golpes; la seguridad de los usuarios de la ruta -peatones, ciclistas, motociclistas y quienes utilizan autos, buses y camiones- es una responsabilidad compartida entre diseñadores, constructores, operadores y usuarios de la vía. Además, todas las partes del sistema vial deben ser diseñadas para reforzar la seguridad y para que, si una parte falla, el resto proteja al usuario.

Ilustración 1. Sistema Seguro.

info

Fuente: ¨OBJETIVO CERO Objetivos  ambiciosos para la seguridad vial y el Enfoque sobre un Sistema Seguro¨ (OECD- FIT, 2008).

Para que el sistema funcione es imprescindible tener instituciones sólidas que lideren todos sus componentes, tales como proveer información detallada acerca de los siniestros viales y de los riesgos que existen en las vías, así como legislación adecuada y controles para que esta se cumpla.

Asimismo, las vías deben diseñarse con velocidades adecuadas por tipo de usuario y los vehículos deben tener seguridad activa (ayudan a maniobrar) y pasiva (reducen los efectos del choque como airbags, cinturones de seguridad, entre otros). Finalmente, si ocurre un choque o atropello, debe existir un sistema de emergencias médicas efectivo que logre atención oportuna y adecuada en el momento de la urgencia.

Si analizamos un choque en base al Sistema Vial Seguro, podemos concluir que muchos de ellos -o sus consecuencias- podrían haberse evitado si: el vehículo no hubiera ido por encima del límite de velocidad; el conductor hubiera estado bien entrenado en la conducción y en sus riesgos; la vía no hubiera tenido un pozo de agua estancada; el diseño de la ruta hubiera sido de vía perdonadora (como por ejemplo, que el pilar del puente hubiera tenido una barrera de protección); el vehículo hubiera tenido airbags laterales; si los ocupantes hubieran utilizado el cinturón de seguridad; hubiera un control de velocidad en la vía, y si las unidades de atención de la emergencia hubieran llegado hubieran atendido mejor a los heridos.

En CAF –Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina- sabemos que tragedias como las de mi amigo se pueden prevenir y, por ello, desde 2011 tenemos un Programa de Seguridad Vial que apuesta por un sistema vial sea seguro a través de múltiples proyectos. Entre otros, organizamos eventos de concientización, capacitación y divulgación sobre la seguridad vial; promovemos el fortalecimiento institucional; apoyamos la formulación de planes específicos de seguridad vial para países y ciudades; incorporamos la seguridad vial en los planes de movilidad; financiamos la identificación de los riesgos que presentan las redes viales; evaluamos la seguridad de las vías mediante auditorias de seguridad vial; y elaboramos guías y manuales para facilitar la incorporación de seguridad vial en las operaciones que financiamos (un ejemplo de esto es la Metodología para Elaborar Planes de Seguridad Vial de Motociclistas o la Guía Iberoamericana de Atención Integral a Victimas de Siniestros de Tránsito).

Con estas iniciativas pretendemos evitar muertes y lesiones injustificadas, como las de David, Andrés y muchos otros más.

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