September 12th, 2011 by Beth Buczynski
In yet another step that indicates its commitment to alternative transportation, the Brazilian government passed a law that will use revenue collected in the form of traffic tickets to support the development of bicycle-friendly programs and infrastructure.
Once enacted, the Bicycle Program Brazil (PBB) will appropriate 15 percent of collected traffic fines to be used to fund bicycle projects in all municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants.
PBB follows on the heels of another alternative transportation initiative called Way To School, a national program that has provided 100,000 donated bikes and helmets to students in public schools.
Projects eligible for PBB funding including the creation of bike lanes and campaigns that promote a healthy and active lifestyle through bike commuting.
“In addition to funding from traffic fines, budget allocations at all levels of government and contributions from organizations, individuals and legal entities (domestic and foreign) can also serve as a financial resource for the Bike Program Brazil,” writes The City Fix.
In a time when city governments around the world are struggling to develop cleaner, more efficient transportation systems, Brazil’s willingness to use traffic fine revenue in this way is both innovative and encouraging. It demonstrates that funds designation for transportation don’t necessarily have to be directed toward bigger highways, parking garages and traffic control systems.
Instead, using these funds to encourage public use of alternative, non-motorized transportation shows that it is possible to alleviate urban congestion problems and reduce carbon emissions at the same time… without millions in new government funding.
This article, which was published on the Care2 website on 25 August 2011, provides an idea that Guernsey could adopt.