Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) today held a kick-off meeting marking the official start of collaboration through 2025 to prevent traffic crashes and deaths in Dhaka City.
This initiative will place a special focus on speeding – one of the leading causes of traffic crashes around the world, read a press release.
Road traffic injuries are the 8th leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of death for people aged 5-29. In Bangladesh, road crashes are the fourth leading cause of death of children aged between 5 and 14, and 67% of victims are within the 15-49 age group.
Nirapad Sarak Chai reported that more than 5,000 killed, nearly 7,000 wounded in over 4,500 road crashes in 2019.
In the virtual kick-off meeting, the DNCC Mayor Md Atiqul Islam welcomed Kelly Larson of Bloomberg Philanthropies and representatives from partner organizations under the program.
In his opening remarks, the DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam stated that the issue of road safety came into the limelight by the students' road safety movement ignited by the killing of two students by a speeding bus in the Kurmitola area in the Airport road on 29 July 2018. The students occupied the streets across the country for nine days demanding road safety.
"The program aims to support strengthen road traffic law enforcement, improve road design, infrastructure, road injury surveillance system, mass media campaign to raise public awareness and behavioural change," added the Mayor.
He called upon representatives from DTCA, DMP, BRTA, ARI-Buet for wider collaboration and coordination for curbing the road crashes and fatalities in Dhaka city.
"I hope the road safety strategies and program activities planned for the next five years will give a livable, safe and resilient Dhaka", he said and declared the official launch of the program.
"We are delighted to welcome Dhaka City among 30 cities participating in Bloomberg Philanthropies' Initiative for Global Road Safety, an international network committed to reducing road traffic crashes, deaths, and injuries," said Kelly Larson of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
"Every year more than 1.35 million people are killed on the world's roads. By implementing proven, data-driven interventions, these deaths are nearly entirely preventable. We applaud Mayor Islam for taking the steps needed to save lives; we also recognize the city's efforts, since 2017, to improve road safety as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Partnership for Healthy Cities," she added.
Representatives from Dhaka Transport Co-ordination Authority (DTCA), Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), Accident Research Institute (ARI) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) were present during the event.
Superintending Engineer and BIGRS Technical Lead Dr Tariq Bin Yousuf presented the Road Safety overview of DNCC in the meeting.