Qualitative Methodology Helping Police Sciences: Building a Model for Prevention of Road Fatalities in São Tomé and Principe

  • Sónia Morgado
  • Odair Anjos
Keywords: Intervention model; National Police of São Tomé and Príncipe; Prevention; Qualitative analysis; Road safety.


Introduction: Critical thinking is currently done in the contemporary world about road safety. In fact, road safety models coupled with accidents-based models are advocated for assessing impacts of policies changes on the causes of road accidents.  Currently, the statistic determines road crashes as the eight cause of death in the world. The perceived dangerousness of road traffic today is pointed by Hoekstra and Wegman (2011). The research yields a vast number of causes that are mostly presented as the dynamics of intertwined factors: human, vehicle, road an environment. Alongside with this factors, some authors, such as Lewis, Watson, and Tay (2007) Wegman (2016), identifies region characteristics, development, culture and vehicles age, as a stone of the four traditional elements. However most reported studies are rare on the establishment of intervention models, and on the pro-active policies in São Tome and Principe are vague. Purpose: Through this paper, we seek to present a model of pro-active intervention has to implement in police activities and its operatives as a stimulant for good practices, namely the behavior of the stakeholders. This is not a direct answer to the question how should road accidents be deterred? Is it at all possible?. Instead, it will acknowledge one tool for improving police management, and consequently the externalities of such occurrence. Method: We focused our analyses on an exploratory study with a qualitative approach. The qualitative approach was based in the content analysis of the interviews to the 9 experiential experts, from National Police of São Tomé and Principe (previous Commander and Chief of NP; the District Commanders of Águia Grande, Cantagal, and Lobata, the Commander of Traffic Special Unit (TSU), chiefs of TSU). The interview was composed by 12 questions and analysed by applying the methodology proposed by Erlingsson and Brysiewicz (2017) and Resende (2016) because it allows the replication (Kriippendorf, 2013), the treatment of the results and its interpretation (Bardin, 2013). Results: Given the results of the interviews, we propose that the model PPSM is an optimal tool to implement a pro-active approach in road safety plan. This model includes: i) Prevention (awareness, prevention plans, plans of formation, plans for civic education) that is in accordance with literature (Elder, Shults, Sleet, Nichols, Thompson, Rabaj, & Task Force on Community Preventive Services, 2004); ii) Policing (police road checks, police staff, pro-active approaches), as stated by Elvik, Vaa, Hoye, Erke, and Sorensen (2009).; iii) Safe (modernization, regulation, road improvements) which follows some of the questions presented by Milenkovic and Glavić (2018), and iv) Mobility (Rules, road signs, compliance with road regulations) as notice by Gichaga (2017).  Conclusion: By emphasising the telling of the interviews and the literature review, the model PPSM suggested has common elements with strategies approved and implemented in other countries. This embodies a promising set of pro-active practices that can then be evaluated in the future.