News Releases

Apr 11, 2013

New initiative aims to lower road deaths in the Caribbean

IDB and OECD/ITF foster transfer knowledge between Jamaica and UK to improve road safety data collection

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) International Transport Forum (ITF) have joined forces with Jamaica and the United Kingdom to promote the implementation of best practices in road safety data collection. 

A key component of the IDB´s Road Safety Strategy for LAC is to support countries in the strengthening of their institutional and technical capacities in road safety via knowledge sharing. The goal of this effort, referred to as twinning, is to help Jamaica align its road safety data collection to international standards. This is an important step towards the development and implementation of effective road safety policies, recommended by ITF’s International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD). Currently, road deaths in the Caribbean are high, with 20 per 100,000 habitants compared to the rest of the region, which is on average 17 deaths per 100,000 habitants.

The Road Safety Unit of Jamaica’s Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing is seen as a pioneer, leading the way on road crash data collection in the Caribbean. Once the exercise is complete, Jamaica plans to share best practices and knowledge learned in the program with other countries in the Caribbean. 

The first module of thetwinning initiative is currently being executed by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) on behalf of the UK government and has the financial support and of IDB. The main components involve a comprehensive review of how data relevant for road safety analyses are currently collected, stored and analysed in Jamaica, and how they are then used to influence road safety strategies and interventions. 

As part of the review, a one-day workshop was organized by the IDB for more than 70 participants from 6 other Caribbean countries (Barbados, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Belize and Guyana). Participants were presented with crash data systems and taught how to develop evidence-led road safety policies to reduce road deaths and the economic impact this involves. 

The ITF, IDB and Jamaican and UK government initiative is part of the organizations’ commitment to the United Nation’s Decade of Action for Road Safety, which aims to stabilize and reduce the number of global road fatalities by 2020. Currently, 1.3 million people die each year on the world’s roads and approximately 50million suffer non-fatal injuries.

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Sissi De la Peña Mendoza

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