News Release No. 30/12-BD - CDB assisting Belize in road safety improvement project

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No. 30/12-BD May 21, 2012 Belize recorded 70 road traffic deaths in 2009, equivalent to 21 traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, giving it the highest fatality rate of the Borrowing Member Countries of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The Bank is of the view that the high death rate from road traffic incidents in Belize is not only disturbing from a public health point of view, but also translates into significant social and economic impacts due to lost productivity and increased vulnerability to poverty. CDB has approved a loan to the Government of Belize of an amount equivalent to USD7.248 million for a project to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents. This will be achieved through improving the safety of road infrastructure along a demonstration corridor; changing road user behaviour through increased awareness and understanding of the issue; traffic law enforcement support; post-crash response support; and road safety management capacity building. In the area of Education and Training, 100 teachers are to be trained to deliver road safety curriculum to 2,000 students. With regard to Social and Economic Infrastructure, 80 kilometres of primary roads are to be upgraded from 1 and 2-star safety levels to a minimum of 3-star for all road users. In addition, capacity development will be enhanced with 20 public sector employees trained in road safety management, and 35 public sector employees trained in traffic law enforcement. However, the main beneficiaries of the road project will be the thousands of vehicle occupants who travel from Belize City to Hattieville, and from Hattieville to Belmopan each day.

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