ITDP’s Statement on Assault During Critical Mass in Porto Alegre, Brazil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY FEBRUARY 28 2011

Contact: Dani Simons dsimons@itdp.org

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy condemns the action of the driver who drove directly into a group of cyclists participating in a Critical Mass ride in Porto Alegre, Brazil this past Friday evening, injuring ten and sending eight to the hospital.

Sadly, cyclists and pedestrians face subtler forms of this violence each and every day on the streets of Brazil, – where over 11,600 pedestrians and cyclists are killed each year (WHO, 2006). The transport system as it currently exists places little value on vulnerable street users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Cities need to do more to raise the awareness of the rights of cyclists and pedestrians as part of the transportation system and to make accommodations for cyclists and pedestrians, so that they can get where they are going safely too.

“The government needs to do a better job educating drivers about the rights of cyclists and pedestrians. We need to make this kind of violence against the most vulnerable street users unacceptable,” said Jonas Hagen, Deputy Brazil Country Director, ITPD.

Rio has demonstrated responsibility for monitoring drivers’ drinking levels. We would like to see this same sense of responsibility in dealing with dangerous driving.

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy is a leading international non-profit organization founded in 1985 that promotes environmentally sustainable and equitable transportation worldwide. It has offices worldwide including in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, Brazil.