MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $200 million loan for a pilot road safety project in Shaanxi Province, the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The Shaanxi Mountain Road Safety Demonstration Project will introduce safety features that are expected to cut road deaths and serious injuries by around 25% over the monitoring period.
“Road crashes are the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 44 years old in Asia and the Pacific and a serious problem in the PRC,” said David Fay, an ADB Transport Specialist. “While the number of reported crashes in the country is declining, the number of deaths per accident is increasing, and Shaanxi’s crash and fatality rates are four times the national average for similar class roads.”
“An important central feature of ADB’s first road safety demonstration project is the use of the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) road safety design approach—presenting the designer with the consequences, in terms of deaths and serious injuries, of not providing adequate road safety treatments,” Mr. Fay added.
Shaanxi is one of the PRC’s least developed provinces, with a transport network in the province’s mountainous region that is substandard. Most roads in the Qinba project area are narrow and in steep terrain, with drivers commonly exposed to inadequate sight distances and tight curves. Between 2008 and 2012, almost 40,000 traffic-related fatalities and injuries have occurred in Shaanxi, costing the government near $5 billion.
The pilot project will incorporate low-cost safety features such as roadside safety barriers, paved shoulders, realignments, and clearly marked pedestrian crossings on over 500 kilometers (km) of rural roads throughout Qinba. It will also train provincial traffic management officers, conduct community road safety awareness programs to educate the public about the dangers of reckless driving and hazardous road conditions, and upgrade or pave 227 km of trunk and rural roads.
When completed in December 2019, the project will cut average travel times for cars and trucks significantly, and all the project rural roads will be passable during the wet season.
Along with ADB’s loan, the Shangnan County Government and local transport agencies will provide counterpart funds of nearly $200 million.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.