Road Safety and Social Sustainability

Improving road safety

Out of an estimated 1.18 million deaths and millions of injuries globally each year due to road accidents, 60% occur in Asia. This reflects not only traffic growth but also high road accident rates—accident rates in developing Asia are much higher than in advanced countries.

The burden of road accidents falls disproportionately on the poor. According to the World Health Organization, almost half of those who die in road traffic crashes are pedestrians, cyclists, or users of motorized two-wheelers, and this proportion is higher in poorer economies.

To have a more sustainable impact on road safety in developing member countries (DMCs), ADB will increase the scale, quality, duration, and continuity of its support for road safety. Through Sustainable Transport Initiative (STI), ADB will develop comprehensive road safety operations in selected DMCs by providing stand-alone lending for road safety. These operations will support both engineering and behavioral approaches to the safe design, construction, operation, and maintenance of road infrastructure; the use of intelligent transport systems for road safety; and the development of road safety management capacity, road safety performance measurement, and resource mobilization.

ADB will also provide substantial technical assistance for advisory and capacity development to address the current limitations in the institutional capacity of DMCs in road safety. Assistance for project preparation purposes will help to create a sound pipeline of projects on road safety.

Strengthening social sustainability

Since ADB’s overarching goal is poverty reduction, its work on transport should contribute to providing effective solutions to the transport needs of the poor. This includes more participatory approaches to project planning and project implementation, strategies to protect against associated HIV/AIDS and human trafficking risks, incorporating complementary development programs and community based maintenance, improving transport services, providing improved facilities such as public toilets and pedestrian and bicycle lanes to make transport accessible and safe for all users and social groups including women and the elderly, applying core labor standards, and using tariff and subsidy options to increase access for vulnerable groups.