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Periférico is 5th deadliest highway in Mexico, new study claims

Most accidents are on Thursdays and Sundays, and most drivers responsible are on the run

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Merida’s Periférico is one of the most dangerous roads in Mexico. Photo: La Jornada Maya

The ring road that loops around Yucatan’s capital is one of the most dangerous in the country.

A coalition of safety groups said Merida’s Periférico is Mexico’s fifth deadliest roads. The ranking appeared in “Informe de peatones y ciclistas fallecidos en México 2019” by Reacciona por la Vida, Juntos por Una Movilidad Segura and Céntrico.

The study documented fatal collisions on approximately 2,000 streets. The list is headed by the Mexico-Veracruz highway in Puebla, the Mexican Army Boulevard in La Laguna and the Cancun-Tulum highway in Playa del Carmen, the Av. 5 de Febrero / Paseo de la República, Querétaro and the Periférico de Mérida, occupying fifth place.

According to the report, most of the streets are continuous suburban roads which have highway characteristics, but exist in an urban setting where pedestrians need to cross. Few traffic lights make that a daunting task.

“The existence of pedestrian bridges does not guarantee that the roads are safe either,” the study states.

The document also indicates that Yucatán ranks 18th in pedestrian and bicycle deaths.

Guanajuato saw the highest number of deaths in 2019, followed by the State of Mexico, Veracruz, Mexico City and Tamaulipas. Those with the fewest fatalities were Colima, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Zacatecas and Nayarit.

Municipalities with the most pedestrian and cyclist deaths included Mérida, which was in 35th place nationwide with 19 fatalities; 14 pedestrians and five cyclists. On cyclists alone, Merida is ranked 18th and Motul was 17th place, also counting five deaths in 2019.

Road accidents across the country peak on Sundays and Thursdays, according to the report.

Cars and trucks account for 53.5% of fatal collisions. Public transport vehicles are attributed to 16.7%. Another 15.3% of the victims are struck by cargo transport and 5% by motorcycles. These five types of vehicles account for 90% of fatal collisions.

Accountability is another unresolved issue in Mexico, the report concludes.

“It is unacceptable that two out of three people responsible for fatal road accidents are on the run. It is necessary to establish changes in the criminal codes of the states in order to sanction this conduct. Escape from the collision site may be related to the lack of legal compliance in most states regarding having to be covered by third party liability insurance,” states the report, which recommends “an aggressive policy of road redesign and surveillance by radar and cameras.”

Excessive speed was attributed to most accidents.

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