Sri Lanka Needs Rs 360B Investment to Achieve Safer Road Target

Sri Lanka will require an estimated additional investment of almost US$2 billion or approximately Rs 360 billion over the coming decade to achieve the SDG target of a 50 percent reduction in national road crash fatalities, says World Bank’s latest report.

The scale of the additional safety investment required to achieve a 50 percent reduction in crash fatalities in Sri Lanka over the coming decade was estimated using analyses undertaken for the UN Road Safety Trust Fund (Bliss 2016; UNECE 2018). These analyses derived from findings of a previous study conducted by the GRSF (Guria 2008; Guria 2009). The GRSF study assessed the additional investment required to meet the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020 goal of stabilizing and reducing road crash fatalities by 2020. To prepare business-as-usual projections of country fatalities over a 10-yeartime frame, the GRSF study used previous World Bank study findings, that estimated the relationship between traffic fatalities and economic growth over the latter half of the twentieth century for 156countries across WBG regions and high-income OECD countries (Kopits and Cropper 2003). Projected traffic fatalities and injuries for each country were then expressed in terms of social costs using estimated values of statistical life and serious injuries (Dahdah and McMahon 2008). Dividing these social costs by good practice benefit-cost ratios for safety engineering and enforcement programs provided estimates of the level of additional investment required to achieve a 50 percent fatality reduction. This was expressed as a percentage of country GDP and provided the foundation for the updated estimate of Sri Lanka’s additional road safety investment needs presented in this report (WBG 2019b).

This estimate is indicative only and assumes that baseline road safety funding in Sri Lanka follows a comparable investment path to that historically taken by high-income countries, with similar benefits being accrued. It also assumes that the additional investment made to improve infrastructure safety and road user safety behaviors will perform as well as the high-income country investments on which they are modelled.

Bringing road safety performance in Sri Lanka under control on a sustainable basis will require a long-term commitment and sustained vision. Program initiatives will require proper sequencing as institutional capacity must first be strengthened to ensure agencies can effectively deliver safety services. For example, effective general deterrence-based road policing services will require strong leadership and accountability from the police high command and operational staff. Robust vehicle and driver licensing systems will need to be well established and accessible by law enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities before the full power of safety compliance regimes can be exercised. Similarly, infrastructure safety design skills and tools will require strengthening. Initiatives taken must be sustained and well-resourced. As with other transport modes, such as aviation, strong government leadership and commitment are needed to ensure that a systematic approach is in place to manage road safety performance (UNRSTF 2018).

Delivering Road Safety in Sri Lanka report: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/33341

 

 

Santhush Author

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