Advocates and champions achieved a major road safety milestone in Mexico with the passage of the General Law on Mobility and Road Safety (GLMRS). This law created the legal framework necessary to advance road safety laws and regulations at the national, state and municipal levels. The GLMRS published by President López Obrador in May 2022, was possible after the passage of a constitutional amendment in October 2020; the amendment created the right to mobility and road safety, requiring the National Congress to legislate on the matter and creating a new right for Mobility and Road Safety for all Mexicans, the first anywhere in the region. These major milestones were possible through the work of the Coalición Movilidad Segura in Mexico comprised of more than 97 civil society organizations.

In Mexico there are more than 16,000 road traffic deaths a year-- a figure that will continue to increase unless stronger road safety laws are adopted. The work of Coalición Movilidad Segura is fundamental to the continued strengthening of road safety policies. GLMRS sets a floor, not a ceiling, for safer roads and cars because it contains best practices consistent with those recommended by the World Health Organization. This signals there is work still to do at the state and municipal levels. These best practices include specifications on child restraint systems, drink driving, helmet and seatbelt use and speed limits. The 32 states in Mexico can enact legislation that goes beyond the floor set by the GLMRS, allowing states to craft pioneering road safety policies, infrastructure, and ultimately a safe system for all road users.

A critical step in the next chapter of road safety in Mexico will be to ensure the proper interpretation, regulation and application of the GLMRS at the national level, including the publication of a National Strategy of Mobility and Road Safety. A second step will be to push and support harmonization efforts in the 32 states and hundreds of municipalities across the country. Coalición Movilidad Segura with the support of Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) has focused its efforts on these two key steps by maximizing the participation of civil society organizations in the different states where these advocacy efforts are taking place.

In April 2023, GHAI collaborated with Coalición Movilidad Segura, the Global Road Safety Partnership and the Secretariat of Agrarian, Land, and Urban Development (SEDATU in Spanish), which leads Mexico’s road safety work, to facilitate the participation of Mexican civil society organizations at the National Workshop for the Harmonization of State Mobility and Road Safety Laws. More than 125 participants from 23 different states attended the workshop and held strategic discussions on the Open code for state laws of mobility and road safety and the Guidelines for the harmonization process. To further support these efforts, GHAI is working with advocates on the legal front by supporting the launch of the lawyers’ network.

In the months ahead, GHAI will host a road safety media advocacy training, among others to support civil society organizations leading the harmonization of work at the state level. The goal is to ensure that Mexico’s body of law allows each and every Mexican to enjoy their full and unencumbered right to mobility and road safety.

Attendees gather at the National Workshop for the Harmonization of State Mobility and Road Safety Laws in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with SEDATU and Coalicion Movilidad Segura.

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