Traffic safety competencies in Peruvian high school students

Miguel Barboza-Palomino, Gonzalo Salas, Wendy K. Rojas-Portocarrero, Tomás Caycho-Rodríguez, José Ventura-León, Sebastián Reyes-Calle, Aylin Torres-Guffanti, Wendy Rivas-Romero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study aims to comprehend traffic safety competencies in high school students from two specific regions of Peru, as well as to analyze the differences between both groups. For this purpose, a qualitative study was carried out which consisted of eight focus groups in high schools, three of them in the metropolitan area of Lima (Lima region) and five in the province of Rodríguez de Mendoza (the Amazonas region). The focus groups were constituted by 73 students enrolled in the last three years of high school, named 3rd, 4th and 5th grade of secondary education, whose ages ranged from 14 to 18 years. The collected data were analyzed employing elements of Grounded Theory and Axiomatic Set Theory. The main findings reveal that most participants have a general understanding of traffic rules and the proper use of the components of traffic safety. Thus, they understand the traffic rules as road signs that regulate the behavior of drivers and pedestrians. In addition, participants know the proper procedure to follow at traffic lights, pedestrian walkways and how to use seat belts. They also identify the driver's tiredness/drowsiness, and the consumption of alcohol and drugs as potential factors that cause traffic accidents. No causes that are linked to pedestrian behavior were identified, and only participants from the Amazonas region mentioned speeding as a contributing factor. On the other hand, participants report that in practical situations they engage in risky behavior and fail to comply with transit rules. They justify this behavior by citing poor infrastructure, vehicle malfunctions, and the need get around quickly in order to get things done. Finally, the implications of the results are discussed and compared to the content and implementation of the Peruvian Road Safety Educational Program (PENSV, for its acronym in Spanish), providing recommendations that can aid evidence‐based policy making in Peru.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-51
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
StatePublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes towards traffic safety
  • Decision-making in transit situations
  • Peruvian students
  • Road safety knowledge


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