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Promoting vulnerable road users safety towards safe and equitable communities in Bangladesh
  1. M Hoque*,
  2. S M Sohel Mahmud
  1. Correspondence Department of Civil Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka -1000, Bangladesh

Abstract

Bangladesh is a country in South Asia and is a very densely populated country with about 150 million inhabitants living in an area of 147 570 sq km. Road accidents are increasing alarmingly taking heavy toll of human lives and personal injuries. Over 10 000 deaths and 200 000 serious injuries from road crashes are estimated to occur annually in Bangladesh, while 4000 deaths are officially reported. With the lowest motorisation level, Bangladesh has the worst death rate (deaths/10 000 motor vehicles) of the region. Nearly 80% of road traffic fatalities are attributed to vulnerable road users (VRUs)- pedestrians, bicyclists, motor cyclists and users of informal and unsafe motorised and non-motorised transport. It is the poor that are most seriously affected with consequences of plunging poor households into acute poverty. Indeed the tragic premature, healthy and costly lives, permanent disabilities and property damages are exacerbating poverty reduction efforts particularly in rural areas. Clearly VRUs will remain the main victims of road traffic injuries for quite some time to come and their disproportionate injury problem deserves urgent attention. Intervention strategies like transport planning exposure and speed controls, traffic separation, VRUs friendly infrastructure designs and policies, use of technology and community based actions and initiatives are likely to play much more important role in Bangladesh. In this paper the disproportionate burden and characteristics of VRUs injuries are discussed. Road safety issues, intervention options and requirements are also discussed in promoting safe and equitable communities in Bangladesh.

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