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iRAP assessment of risk on national highways in Bangladesh.

Smith, G (Peer reviewed)



Bangladesh faces significant road safety challenges. As many as 55 people are reportedly killed in traffic crashes each day. Like many low-income countries, vulnerable road users (including pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists) account for a large proportion of road deaths. In 2010, with the support of the FIA Foundation and local road safety organisations, iRAP undertook a risk assessment of two of Bangladesh’s main highways, the N2 and N3. These roads experience death rates in the order of 10 times higher than equivalent highways in Australia. In the case of the N2, this is despite the fact that major upgrades were undertaken as recently as 2005.

This paper provides an overview of the iRAP project; it includes an explanation of the iRAP approach to assessing risk and proposing countermeasures, and provides a summary of key results. The assessments showed that the majority of the N2 and N3 are rated 2 stars or less (out of a possible 5 stars) for car occupants, pedestrians, motorcyclists and pedestrians, indicating a relatively high level of risk of death or serious injury. To mitigate this risk, a series of investment plan options were developed for each road. These generally focused on the provision of wider shoulders, safety barriers, pedestrian footpaths and crossings and safer intersections. The most comprehensive of the plans identified the potential to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 36% on the N2 and by 44% on the N3.