March 2019: Representatives from 15 countries across Asia recently came together to discuss the establishment of a Road Safety Observatory for Asia, in a meeting organised by the World Bank and supported by the Asian Development Bank, FIA and ITF.

For many Asian countries there are gaps between official national statistics and estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) as published in the Global Status Report on Road Safety. An improved understanding of data and knowledge on road safety performance is essential to be able to design strategies and measures to effectively reduce the number of road casualties in the region.

A Road Safety Observatory will help Asian countries improve their understanding of the issues, raise awareness, share experience and best practice, and encourage actions to reduce fatalities and injuries in their countries and across in one the highest ranking global regions for road death and injury.

This follows the successful establishment and operation of the Ibero American Road Safety Observatory (OISEVI) since 2012 and the early 2018 launch of a governance structure for an African Road Safety Observatory (ARSO) in November 2018.

A workshop held in Singapore on 20-21 March was the starting point of collaborative efforts across Asian countries. The objectives of the workshop are to: demonstrate the economic, social and financial cost of road crashes; outline the concept of a road safety observatory for the region; shape the way towards the establishment of a road safety observatory in Asia; foster the development of a synergistic environment to empower countries to collect useful and timely information to address the road safety ongoing epidemic; and demonstrate the mutual benefits of a road safety observatory in Asia.

iRAP’s Managing Director – Strategic Projects, Greg Smith attended the event and congratulated the initiative “Good data is so important in creating and implementing the treatments needed to prevent millions of deaths and serious injuries,” he said.

A regional road safety observatory can help countries improve their understanding of the issues, raise awareness, share experience and best practice, and encourage actions to reduce fatalities and injuries across countries in the region.

Information sourced from International Transport Forum website – read full article here

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