On 15 December 2014, the Ministry of Communications launched the official Land Transport White Paper for Brunei Darussalam which sets out strategic goals for better and safer roads in the Sultanate.
The official Land Transport White Paper for Brunei Darussalam was officially launched to address current and future needs of the land transport system
The Centre for Transport Research (CfTP), in collaboration with the Brunei National Road Safety Council, has set a target to reduce road fatality rates in Brunei by 35 per cent by 2020. This target was set based on evidence of road fatalities data and new measures introduced in line with the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020.
The White Paper highlighted the need for efficient transport connectivity and services in building Brunei’s economy. This was identified in line with the Brunei Vision 2035 and the Ministry of Communications vision for a “Smart Society and Excellence in Communications” by 2017.
The document established a transport policy, as well as identified strategies, facilities, infrastructure and services required to serve the nation’s transportation system up to 2035. It also outlined measures to address various challenges such as poor provision of public transport services, transport cost and inefficient connectivity.
The document is also intended to shape the development of a transport corridor and Brunei’s connectivity with neighbouring states and the subregion for the movement of people, goods and services as well as to facilitate business and development of the transport industry.
The overall aim of the White Paper is to develop a sustainable land transportation system to improve socio-economic development and greatly improve the quality of life. Also included in the document are seven national land transport policies divided by themes which comprises 38 sub-policies.
LAND TRANSPORT MASTERPLAN (LTMP)
The Land Transport Masterplan (LTMP) compiled in the White Paper outlined a core set of national road safety targets and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for different user groups and types of accidents. In Brunei, there is a high dependency on private vehicles in meeting people’s daily mobility needs. The high vehicle ownership ratio with an annual average nine per cent growth rate could increase congestion on Brunei roads.
In 2014, it was reported that there were about 216,000 licensed vehicles in the country and at least 1,400 private vehicles were registered every month. There were also 105 public buses, 465 school buses and 45 taxis in the country. The length of roads here was reported to be 3,167km in 2013, a slight increase of 44km from 2012.
There is also the pressing issue of road accidents and road fatalities in Brunei. At the official launching of the Land Transport White Paper, the Minister of Communications, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, stated that the implementation of the LTMP would offer more employment opportunities, increased efficiency in the movement of people, goods and services both in the country and regionally, and achieve social sustainability with specific emphasis on reducing road traffic injuries and fatalities.
The minister also revealed that road fatalities were among the top 10 causes of death in Brunei in 2013. Globally, road traffic injuries are the eighth leading cause of death, as well as the leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 29 years.
In striving towards better and safer roads in the country, the LTMP identified four broad strategies including reducing car dependency, keeping traffic moving, achieving a sustainable society and strengthening governance.
The LTMP also aims to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured by 60 per cent, the number of children’s deaths by 70 per cent and the number of minor injuries by 35 per cent by the year 2025.
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