Student Fellowship

A Traffic Safety Strategy for Santo Domingo

Project Area:

Urban Design and Mobility


Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Reporting to:

Secretary General of the Municipality of Santo Domingo

The Challenge

The Dominican Republic has the highest traffic mortality rate in the Americas. In 2020, traffic accidents killed 2,711 people, mostly involving motorcycles. The national mortality rate in 2020 is nearly 26 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, with men representing the highest proportion of deaths in traffic (86%) and a majority (60%) of fatalities being young people between the ages of 15 and 34*. Both the central government and the City of Santo Domingo have taken measures to improve road safety, such as restricting the transit of freight trucks through the city, improving registration of motorcycle users, imposing a helmet mandate, improving public education, among others. Still, the high number of road accidents, and related deaths and injuries, continues to be of great concern. In the Dominican Republic, seven provinces account for 60% of traffic fatalities, with Santo Domingo (the National District) one of the most affected. Therefore, improving road safety in Santo Domingo is a key mayoral priority.

The fellow working alongside Santo Domingo city officials will help answer these key questions:

  • What is causing the high rate of traffic accidents? What are the technical, institutional, social, cultural, and other contributing factors?
  • What interventions might the city undertake to improve road safety?
  • How should the city engage key stakeholders and special interest groups in improving road safety?
  • What are some promising practices that other cities have deployed to improve road safety?

What You’ll Do

The fellow will:

  • Review and analyze existing data on accidents/crashes to understand the extent of the problem, identify collision hotspots, and determine the most commonly impacted modes of transportation; in addition, identify any data gaps.
  • Identify technical, institutional, social, cultural, and other factors contributing to the high crash rate, including existing road infrastructure conditions, such as the availability of sidewalks.
  • Interview key internal stakeholders, including the National Institute for Transit and Transportation (INTRANT), 911 Emergency Responders, Traffic Police (DIGESETT), and the Ministry of Public Works (MOPC) and external stakeholders, including public transportation driver unions, freight transport unions, and motorcycle organizations, among others.
  • Research promising practices from peer cities.
  • Draft a road safety strategy based on qualitative interviews and quantitative analysis as well as promising approaches deployed in other cities; elements of the strategy could include an education campaign, recommendations for infrastructure measures to improve safety at particular hot spots that could include, but are not limited to, changes to road and intersection design, traffic calming measures, and streetscape improvements. In addition, the strategy would include metrics and mechanisms to assess ongoing progress in the reduction of crashes.
  • Socialize the draft strategy with key stakeholders to get input and build consensus on a path forward.

Related deliverables to be defined in concert with the fellow would likely include the following: summary of key findings from analysis of existing data as well as interviews with key stakeholders; key insights from a review of promising practices deployed by other cities; a draft road safety strategy.

What You’ll Bring

The fellow will be expected to possess the following skills: 

  • Data analysis
  • Qualitative interviewing and analysis 
  • Policy Analysis
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Mapping (GIS)
  • Spanish Fluency



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