CDB funds $7.25M road safety project

Belize, which had the highest traffic fatality rate among Caribbean Development Bank member states in 2006, has received a $14.5 million CDB loan to finance a Road Safety Project, designed to decrease the number of traffic fatalities that occur in the country.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will execute the project, which was launched at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan on Thursday, March 14, 2013.
In 2006, Belize recorded 68 traffic fatalities, which gives a ratio of 31.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.
The project will address problem spots along the Western Highway to its junction with the Hummingbird Highway and around the Belmopan Ring Road with improvements to road safety.
It will also encourage motorists to alter their driving habits for greater safety through education and awareness campaigns.
The Police and Transport Departments will receive support in traffic law enforcement, while post-crash response will also be enhanced at BERT and the Western Regional Hospital through training of personnel to build their capacity. Personnel from institutions charged with managing road safety will also be trained.
In analyzing statistics from the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety, the data for Belize also showed that 70 percent of all collisions occurred in the Belize District during 2004-2006, while Orange Walk District had close to 14 percent of the fatalities.
Road traffic injuries were also the fourth leading cause of death, regardless of age or sex, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health’s National Health Information Surveillance Unit.
The Government says it is determined to alter these numbers and improve road safety in Belize, there by reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries from road traffic accidents.
A Project Management and Road Safety Unit will support the Ministry of Finance, and task leaders at the Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports, Health, Works and Transport will also help implement the project.
The Project Manager and other key personnel have already been identified.

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