Mandar Khanal and Pradip Sarkar
Rapid growth in vehicles has been observed in many developing countries in recent years. The number of vehicles has grown but non-motorized vehicles have not disappeared. The presence of dissimilar modes of travel results in unsafe roads. Additional factors that exacerbate the traffic problem in these countries are the tendency of users to not observe traffic rules and the lax enforcement of traffic rules by law enforcement agencies. The combination of these factors can be deadly for road users. For example in India, a total of 134,513 people lost their lives to road accidents in 2010 compared to 32,885 road fatalities in the US during that year. Are roads in developing countries unsafe? Such questions are explored in this paper. Researchers who have studied road safety problems in developing countries have suggested measures to improve safety. Specifying interventions alone will not be sustainable in the long run. Road safety is a complex matter with multiple dimensions. One of the prerequisites for interventions to be effective and sustainable is better institutional management of the safety problem. The paper explores the factors that indicate whether a lead institution to manage the road safety problem will need to be set up before interventions are implemented and safety targets are set.