| Danial Norjidi |
PRELIMINARY data from 2014 shows that there is a decrease in the number of fatal, serious and minor injuries from road accidents in Brunei compared to last year.
This was yesterday shared by Dr Tan Soon Jiann, the Director of the Centre for Transport Research at Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB), during a presentation at the National Road Safety Seminar 2014 held at ITB.
In his presentation entitled ‘Brunei Road Safety Statistics: Our targets by 2020 and beyond,’ Dr Tan first gave a review of recent data.
On the types of accidents that took place in 2013, Dr Tan shared that 96 per cent of all accidents involved a single vehicle or took place between cars, accounting for 64 per cent of fatal accidents. The other four per cent of all accidents involved heavy goods vehicles (HGV), pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, which actually accounted for 35 per cent of fatal accidents.
With regard to the proportion of reported fatalities, a consistent trend over the last four years show that three times more male road users were killed compared to female users.
He said the most vulnerable age group is that within the 19-28 age bracket, comprising mainly new and inexperienced drivers and/or young passengers. This age group accounted for 11 fatalities in 2013 and an average of more than 13 in 2010 – 2012.
He also shared that fatalities involving vulnerable road users (motorcycle riders/passengers, pedal cyclists and pedestrians) amounted to 22 per cent in 2010 – 2012, while 2013 followed a similar trend with 25 per cent.
Preliminary analysis of reported cases with available time data also suggests that most of the casualties appear to take place during off-peak periods.
Out of the fatal accidents, 26 occurred in Tutong, 26 in Belait, and 48 in the Brunei-Muara DIstrict. The fatality rate in Tutong was higher than other districts, and Dr Tan affirmed a need to examine the longer-term trend.
In addition, preliminary data shows that between 2011 and 2013, Jalan Gadong has seen the highest number of accidents per km per year (16.0), while Jalan Jerudong has the highest number of injury accidents per km per year (2.0).
As to why road accidents occur, he said the majority of the main contributory factors were attributed to driver behaviour (54.3 per cent). However, most injury cases are caused by a combination, such as speeding and wet roads.
“Hence, road environment and vehicle standards should not be neglected,” he said.
In terms of Brunei’s accident rate compared to other countries, Dr Tan said, “Our performance in 2012 was better than some European countries and developed nations such as the US and Korea.
“The long-term target is to be in the same categories as the UK and Singapore.”
Moving on, Dr Tan gave a preview of data attained in 2014. With regards to the number of casualties by severity, saying, “Compared with the same period in 2013, data until November 2014 shows a reduction of 29 per cent in fatal injuries, 38 per cent in serious injuries and 12 per cent in minor injuries.”
He also touched on three approaches towards setting a target.
One way is via an aspirational target, which can be difficult to achieve and monitor (eg zero fatalities). Another is via model-based target, which he said can be difficult to establish. The third is through an evidence-based target such as the extrapolation of historical data. On this, he said, forecasting accuracy depends on types and quality of historical data.
“Our chosen approach for setting a target in 2020 is based on extrapolation of the assumed time-series of historical road fatalities data (per 100,000 population).”
Under the national target of fatality rate by 2020, “the forecasted fatality rate for Brunei in the year 2020 is four fatalities per 100,000 population. Over the period of our Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020), this target represents a reduction of 35 per cent in fatality rate by 2020.”
Speaking on targets beyond 2020, he said, “We expect our road casualties to continue to reduce beyond 2020 as we continue with our National Road Safety efforts.
“A new set of forecasted targets may be set in the future as more accurate data becomes available and we evaluate our performance between 2011 and 2020. Based on recommendations from the recently developed ‘Land Transport Master Plan for Brunei Darussalam,’ by 2025 we also aspire to achieve: -60 per cent killed or seriously injured (KSI), -70 per cent child KSI and -35 per cent slight casualties.”
Concluding his presentation, he said that a review of recent data has provided some useful insights and has identified potential areas for further investigation and action, while also supporting road safety strategy and initiatives.