AbstractThis research evaluated the effect of the COVID-19 social isolation orders on traffic volume, traffic violations and road crashes in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil. Using data from automated traffic enforcement cameras, a reduction in traffic volume between 30% and 50% was observed during the social isolation period. However, even with the traffic volume reduction, the absolute number of speeding and red-light running violations were 13% and 26% higher than prepandemic levels, respectively. When controlling for traffic exposure, the violation rates increased by more than 100%. After social isolation restrictions were lifted and the traffic volumes returned to prepandemic levels, both traffic violations and traffic violation rates remained at elevated levels (14% to 44% higher than prepandemic levels), possibly related to a nationwide decision that delayed the issuing of violation tickets. Using an interrupted time-series approach and segmented Poisson and negative binomial regression models, it was found that the fatal crash rate was 1.66 times greater during the period of social isolation compared to the prepandemic levels but returned to prepandemic levels following the removal of the social isolation restrictions. A significant reduction in injury crash rate was observed during and following the period of social isolation restrictions; however, the authors hypothesize that this is related to injury crash underreporting during the pandemic.

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