Safe System for sustainable pedestrian safety in Bangladesh
This paper deals with achieving sustainable pedestrian safety in Bangladesh within the concept of safe system approach. The fact is that despite the rapid motorization level in Bangladesh, pedestrians form the largest single user group and accounted for more than half (52%) of the reported road traffic fatalities in Bangladesh. Detailed analysis of crash statistics revealed that around 80 percent of pedestrian accidents occurred in urban areas and rest in rural areas. Nearly 50 percent of the pedestrian fatalities occurred on road sides and 22 percent occurred while crossing the road. Children are particularly vulnerable as pedestrians. One third of the pedestrian deaths are under the age of 16 years. Heavy vehicles such as buses and heavy trucks are over involved in pedestrian injuries accompanied by the incidence of high speeding. Hazards and deficiencies associated with road infrastructure and roadside environment are major contributors to pedestrian fatalities. The iRAP infrastructure risk assessment revealed that the major highways are mostly (97%) 2-star or less (out of possible 5-star) for pedestrians, indicative of serious deficiencies of pedestrian facilities. Road infrastructure safety is clearly a priority and it is time for Bangladesh to quickly tighten this area for improving pedestrian safety. The relevance and the scope of introducing the new paradigm of safe system approach are briefly outlined in this paper. Some of the effective road infrastructure and speed management related countermeasures which demand priority consideration in delivering sustainable pedestrian safety are also discussed in the paper.