Chevron Bangladesh and BRAC on Wednesday launched a comprehensive three-year road safety awareness program for Sylhet city and Bibiyana gas field project area.
BRAC founder and chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed and Chevron Bangladesh president Geoff Strong jointly launched the program at a function at BRAC office.
According to Chevron officials, the road safety program will provide training and build awareness on defensive driving and safe pedestrian behaviors to a total of 1,000 drivers.
The program will be implemented in collaboration with the Roads & Highways Department, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, and Bangladesh Police.
Under the program, information, education and communication materials will be used to teach safe pedestrian behaviors amongst 4,500 school children of 25 educational institutions near the Bibiyana gas field area.
Up to six Community Road Safety Groups will also be formed and groomed to build institutional and community capacity for future sustainability of the initiative.
This program taps an urgent need for a robust public campaign for road safety awareness, says a Chevron press release.
The National Road Safety Strategic Action Plan (NRSSAP) for 2011-2013 cites Bangladesh, having one of the world’s highest road fatality rates, with 85 deaths per 10,000 registered motor vehicles every year.
According to NRSSAP, road accidents cost up to $614 million economic losses every year in Bangladesh.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, and Disaster, Environment & Climate Change Senior Director Babar Kabir; Procurement, Estate & Management Services, and Road Safety Director Ahmed Najmul Hussain; Director, Chairperson’s Office, BRAC, Rachel Kabir; and Chevron Bangladesh External Affairs Director Naser Ahmed were present at the function.
On the part of BRAC, the largest NGO will involve the local community in the program through motivation, education and self-help, resulting in a developed sense of ownership.
The Chevron-BRAC program is aligned with UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 program.