The United Nations has urged Bangladesh to join and fully implement key legal UN instruments on road safety.
“… (these) can enable the country to address many major causes of road crashes,” said Jean Todt, the United Nations secretary-general’s special envoy on road safety, in a World Bank statement yesterday.
Todt and Hartwig Schafer, the World Bank vice president for South Asia, are scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh today to discuss challenges and opportunities to improve road safety.
During the two-day visit, they will meet the finance and roads, transport and bridges ministers, senior government officials and civil society representatives.
The duo will also participate in a “Road Safety for All” event in Dhaka tomorrow which is part of a “South Asia Regional Programme on Road Safety”.
“…I look forward to a productive discussion with our partners in Bangladesh on the path for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of significantly cutting the number of road fatalities,” said Todt.
Schafer said, “Apart from the enormous human toll, road safety has a major economic impact; globally, annual crash-related costs are estimated at 2 to 5 percent of national Gross Domestic Product.”
“I welcome this partnership…to make traffic safer and help accelerate growth, reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity,” he added.
Road safety is a global development challenge with 1.35 million people worldwide losing their lives every year while driving, cycling or walking on the road and another 50 million being seriously injured, the statement said.
A recent World Bank study has shown that for South Asia, a 50 percent reduction in road deaths would generate an estimated gross benefit of about $1.2 trillion.