Works of new database for road traffic crashes in Dhaka city are going on under the Dhaka Road Traffic Safety Project to improve road safety. For the database, DRIVER system prototype (web and android app) has already been deployed, the project officials also said at a project briefing held at the DMP Media Centre on Saturday. The three-year project is a joint initiative of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Japan International Cooperation Agency under the JICA grant.
Currently, the government officially recognises only the road crash data compiled by the Bangladesh Police, who collect information from the first information report of cases filed over road crashes while many people die in hospitals afterwards following crashes. The available government road data varies greatly from the data compiled by different non-government organisations which also collect crash data from published and broadcast news in different news outlets.
Earlier, the DRSP was launched in March 2022 with an aim to educate people about the situation on roads, change their mentality and strengthen DMP’s capacity to implement comprehensive road traffic safety measures in the capital. Tetsushi Irie, specialist on road safety education and planning under the JICA expert team, said that the project is working on three outputs - safety education/public relations, strengthen capacity of traffic accident report/ analysis and planning/implementation of traffic safety and regulation and enforcement through pilot projects.
The project is analysing the current traffic accident reporting system and database, identifying issues and recommending improvements, showed a project document. Replying to a question, Tetsushi Irie said that they were taking traffic accident data from all different sources, including the hospitals, and the Accident Research Institute was assisting to build up the database. Under the project, a new Road Crash Form has been developed to collect traffic accident data, he added. Traffic inspectors and sergeants from Ramna division received training in reporting on crash information using the new form before beginning the trial, said the project officials.
Under the project, four proposals – Safe and Secure Road Crossing Project, Safety Bus Boarding/Alighting Project, Project for Traffic accidents Response Capacity by DMP Officers and Children’s Traffic Park for Road Traffic Safety Class/Courses– are under consideration for launching a pilot project.
For strengthening the capacity of traffic safety education and public relations under the project, a poster contest for school students and a slogan contest for college students are underway while training has been imparted to DMP officers.
Nao Tsujimura, specialist on social and environmental issues under the JICA expert team, proposed for a Journalists’ Club on road safety in Dhaka to cover distinctive news, special features and series. At the briefing, DMP additional deputy commissioner (media) KN Roy Niyoti was also present, among others. The project’s Joint Coordinating Committee was formed by the representatives from the DMP, the ARI, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation, the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority and two city corporations in Dhaka.