| By Georges Bou-Saab, Yunzhi Zheng, et al.

For developing economies like Kazakhstan, Asia’s infrastructure push offers opportunities to improve road safety. In Kazakhstan, road crashes are estimated to cost $9 billion annually, or nearly 4 percent of gross domestic product. Kazakhstan is also a keystone for regional infrastructure investment programs such as the United Nations’ Asian Highway Network, the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation program, and China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. To help set priorities within these initiatives, this study analyzes road quality and crash data covering approximately 13,000 kilometers of highways. Within this sample, most roads are undivided with two lanes and rated below “good” condition. Most crashes are related to infrastructure deficiencies and noncompliance of the drivers to traffic rules and regulations. A series of maps identifies priority areas for improvement. Building on this analysis and a review of international best practices, cost-effective infrastructure measures are recommended for improving connectivity and road safety.

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