IIT Kharagpur, supported by IndiaRAP, has assessed 1,400kms of five West Bengal highways in India where crash severity in 2018 was 1.7 times the all-India average. A total of 10,042 road crashes were reported in West Bengal in 2018. Crash severity was 53.9% as compared to the all-India statistic of 32.4%. Almost a quarter of the crashes took place on State Highways.

The Public Works Department (PWD) of the Government of West Bengal is responsible for development, maintenance and operation of the majority of State’s road network. To ensure safe travel and treatment of high-risk locations, PWD engages road safety experts to conduct road safety audits of the network. It collaborated with the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKGP) to assess the five highways.

IndiaRAP supported the project, training IIT Kharagpur staff to do road survey, data coding and processing for their client PWD West Bengal. It also provided quality analysis and reporting of IIT’s completed work.

Team of IIT KGP research scholers and students were trained by IndiaRAP 

The Baseline Star Rating results demonstrate the potential to improve the safety of the road infrastructure for all road users, particularly for the most vulnerable. The Star Ratings indicate for pedestrians only 6% of the network rated 3-star or better, bicyclists 17% and motorcyclists 38%. 56% of the road length rated as 3-star or better for vehicle occupants.

Cost-effective safety countermeasures to improve the Star Ratings for all road user groups were identified. PWD is examining more details to implement mass action treatments identified in the Safer Roads Investment Plan such as improving delineation of intersections, curvatures and road sections on these State Highways with an estimated saving of over 5,000 deaths and serious injuries in next 20 years.

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