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The road safety situation for children in Bangladesh.
The children are highly vulnerable in the traffic situation compared with many other countries of the world. The incidence of overall child involvement in road accident fatalities in Bangladesh is found to be very high, accounting for about twenty two percent. An elaborate analysis of accident data collected from police with a study period of seven year (1998-2004) it is evident that the involvement of children below 15 years of age in road accident fatalities is much higher than those in other developing countries. Of the total child fatalities of road accidents, on an average nearly eighty percent involved as pedestrians with the dominant age group of 5-10 years and thirteen percent of all children were bicycle users. Indeed, about one- third of total pedestrian fatalities are children under the age of 15 years. They are the dominant age group of pedestrian fatalities. The female child pedestrians are disproportionately higher than the male child pedestrians. It is found that almost thirty two percent for female child and twelve percent male child are involved in road traffic accidents. This paper aims to discuss the child safety issue which deserves urgent attention by addressing the special needs and requirements of the children. Significant reduction of accidents and injuries is possible through a safety conscious and systematic application of countermeasures encompassing traditional three E's- Engineering Enforcement and Education. Also the role of road safety education for children is discussed because it is essential for effective and sustained prevention of accidents and injuries in the longer term. The safety of the vulnerable road users especially children must be sufficiently catered for in the road safety engineering strategies and principles.