Bangladesh needs to invest $7.8b more: WB | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 22, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:39 AM, February 22, 2020

Curbing Road Accidents

Bangladesh needs to invest $7.8b more: WB

Bangladesh needs to invest an estimated extra $7.8 billion over the next decade to halve its road crash fatalities, says a new World Bank (WB) report.

The report titled "Delivering Road Safety in Bangladesh", was released yesterday, pointing out the high death rate on Bangladesh's roads caused by lack of investment and identifying relevant investment priorities to reverse the trend.

It was launched at the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety held in Stockholm.

The report says that children and working age population are mostly affected by road crash injuries in Bangladesh. In 2017, road accidents became the fourth leading cause of death for children from the ninth leading cause of death in 1990, it adds.

It calls for a new focus on safe road infrastructure design that meets the needs of all road users and vehicle types -- pedestrians, animals, bicycles, rickshaws, motorcycles, motorised three-wheelers, cars, minibuses, buses, mini trucks, trucks, and agricultural vehicles.

A human-centred, rather than a purely vehicle-centred focus, is required with a rebalancing of "right-of-place" and "right-of-way" road functions.

"Years of rapid economic growth in South Asia, followed by a steep rise in vehicle ownership have led to mounting traffic deaths and contributed to lost economic opportunities," said Hartwig Schafer, World Bank vice president for South Asia.

He also said, "South Asia's road safety crisis is unacceptable but preventable. The good news is that South Asian countries recognize the urgent need to protect their people, save lives, and sustain their journey toward greater prosperity. We at the World Bank stand ready to support their efforts."

Mercy Tembon, WB country director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, said, "For Bangladesh, improving road safety is a national development priority, which will help the country boost economic growth."

"Bangladesh must take urgent steps to address road safety and minimize this tragic loss of human capital," he added.

To better monitor the effectiveness of road safety efforts, the report recommends a shared regional initiative to harmonise crash data management and analysis systems across South Asia.

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