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Less speed, lesser road crashes

Published : 12 May 2023 10:58 PM

Experts on road safety and professionals engaged with transportation management in various forms believe that reducing the average speed on roads by five per cent could reduce the rate of fatal accidents by 30 per cent. 

Such observation was given as excessive speed of vehicles is said to be one of the leading causes of road accidents in Bangladesh.  

Traffic police is one of the professional groups involved in the work of transport management and road safety. If the police play a more active role over road safety, especially in reducing the speed of vehicles on roads, the accident rate will reduce in the country significantly. 

In such a situation, there is a need for a separate guideline regarding speed limit of vehicles along with increasing the efficiency of the police to enforce speed limit effectively.

However, The Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), a global platform which works on road crash deaths and injuries, has offered training to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) in order to equip DMP officers with the skills and necessary knowledge. 

The GRSP has announced providing its highly anticipated ‘Speed as a Risk Factor’ training to the DMP in July under the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) programme.

This announcement came after GRSP’s meeting with the DMP at DMP headquarters in Dhaka on Thursday (May 11), Khaleda Jasmin Mithela, a consultant (communications officer) at DNCC under a BIGRS project; informed the matter to the Bangladesh Post on Friday.  

The training will provide strategies to reduce speeding and other risk factors on the roads, ultimately resulting in safer roads for all. DMP will be using a data led approach to identify high risk speed areas for the effective deployment of their traffic staff to reduce offending.

The key objective of the training is to share existing enforcement practices across all risk factors within a ‘Safe System’ partnership model. The training aims to enhance the knowledge of police officers to promote effective enforcement of traffic laws and reduce trauma on the roads by drawing on international and national road policing strategies that have proven to be efficient and effective.

Regarding the training issue, SM Mehedi Hasan, joint police commissioner (traffic-south) at DMP; said that it is a good opportunity for them. He called upon the GRSP to enter into a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with DMP to work together on road safety. 

Mentioning that DMP is committed to ensuring the safety of all road users in Dhaka, he said, “We believe that GRSP training will equip our officers with the knowledge and skills necessary to enforce speed limits effectively and educate the public on the dangers of speeding.”

Al Stewart, GRSP Road Safety Consultant said that they will continue their relationship with the Dhaka Metropolitan Police by delivering ‘Speed as a Risk Factor’ training. “We believe that this training will be invaluable in reducing the number of road crashes and ultimately saving lives. The DMP are to be commended for their ongoing commitment to making their road network safe for all road users,” said the expert on road safety.

He also said that reducing the average speed on roads by just five per cent can lead to a 30 per cent reduction in fatal crashes. 

Meanwhile, the government is now moving forward to formulate a guideline on vehicles’ speed limit in order to prevent road accidents in Bangladesh.

ABM Amin Ullah Nuri, secretary at Road Transport and Highways Division under the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges; at a recent discussion said, “Reducing vehicles’ speed will reduce the accident rate. So, we are working to prepare a guideline for this purpose. You will get it soon.”

At present, the country has about 400,000 kilometre road infrastructure in the form of national and regional highways, and district, upazila and rural roads, built by agencies like Roads and Highways Department (RHD), Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), and city corporations.

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