APRSO Annual Meeting and the Asia Pacific Regional Road Safety Seminar held at ADB Headquarters, Manila, Philippines
The Asia Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO) is the regional forum on road safety data, policies and practices to ensure the protection of human life on the roads across Asia and the Pacific.
APRSO was established by a group of international development organizations – the Asian Development Bank (ADB), The World Bank Group, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the International Transport Forum (ITF) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), with support from the World Health Organization and UK Aid through the Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF).
ADB serves as the secretariat for APRSO. The establishment of the Asia-Pacific Road Safety Observatory was announced in February 2020 on the eve of the Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Sweden.Bangladesh is one of the member countries of the APRSO.
The 3rdAsia-Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO) Annual Meeting and the Asia Pacific Regional Road Safety Seminar wad held from 5-7 December 2023 at ADB Headquarters, Manila, Philippines. The Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) was a co-host for this event. The theme of this year’s event was “The Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety: 2021-2030 – Requirements for Implementation in Asia and the Pacific”. The event addressed the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action with the following objectives: Facilitate the transfer of best-practice road safety knowledge and practices to Asia-Pacific road safety professionals; Strengthen ties among road safety institutions of Asia and the Pacific region; Promote evidence-based policy and decision making in the road safety professions among ADB developing member countries; Raise awareness of the major road safety trends and challenges relevant to low and middle-income countries of Asia and the Pacific; and Promote the support available to low and middle-income countries of Asia and the Pacific to address road safety. AHM Bazlur Rahman, CEO, and Hiren Pandit, Program Coordinator of BNNRCattended the program. The members of the Road Safety Coalition of Bangladesh attended a three-day program.
The event included active participation from a range of key stakeholders including representatives from:Governments from Asia and the Pacific, the World Health Organization, UNESCAP and other key UN agencies, Multilateral development banks, the Private sector, Research and academic institutions, Civil society organizations and Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies. The event was designed to allow significant active contributions from all participants, with a series of workshops that allowed all attendees to bring forward their expertise and share common challenges and opportunities.
A total of 17 sessions were held and around 250 participants from different countries of the Asia Pacific region attended the program Topics covered include Global and Regional Plans for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021 – 2030 including coverage of the to-be-released WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety 2023, New funding models for road safety, Speed management, and the link to the sustainability agenda, Private sector initiative, Innovative technologies, Legal frameworks, Gender perspectives in transport planning, Powered two-wheeler safety and Road policing initiatives Woochong Um, Managing Director General, ADB welcomed the participants. Jean Todt, UN Special Envoy for Road Safety, delivered the keynote speech in the Inaugural session.He said every year around 1.3 million people are killed by road crashes, and millions more are injured. Half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Road traffic deaths are also the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-29, and road traffic injuries are the eighth leading cause of death globally. Beyond human suffering, road traffic deaths and injuries impose significant economic and financial losses on societies. The goal of the 2nd Decade (2021-2030) is to stabilize and then reduce the forecast level of road traffic deaths around the world.
Dr. Matts-Ake Belin, Global Lead, Decade of Action for Road Safety, World Health Organization presented Asia & the Pacific and the Global Status Report for Road Safety 2023. Dr. Ishtiaque Ahmed, Economic Affairs Officer, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) discussed the Implementation of the Global Plan in Asia and the Pacific: Role and Challengesfor Road Safety Lead Agencies. Susanna Zammataro, Director GeneralInternational Road Federation, Sushil Babu Dhakal, Director General, Department of Roads, Nepal, Nelson TeremaTraffic Authority, Papua New Guinea, Pham Viet Cong. National Traffic Safety Committee,Vietnam, Nurlan MoldableGeneral Directorate for Road Safety Kyrgyz Republic, James EltonOffice of Road SafetyAustralia were the panel discussants.
Taifur Rahman, Manager Advocacy and Grants Program. Global Road Safety Partnership moderated the Legal Frameworks Session while Sara Whitehead led SurveillanceRoad, SafetyVital Strategies, Mel Eden Data Specialist, Asian Transport Outlook, AHM Bazlur RahmanCEO, BNNRC, Alvin Mejia, Data Analyst Asian Transport Outlook, Phong LeCountry ManagerAIP Foundation, Mr. Abdul Sabooh Ministry of CommunicationPakistan, Sumana NarayananSenior Researcherspoke as Panel discussant.
Other topics were Ensuring a Gender Perspective in Transport Planning, Speed, Enabling Factors for the Best Practice Implementations, Finance and Funding for Impact in Road Safety, Financing, Technologies, Using the Global Status Report to Inform Effective Implementation:Lessons Learned from Workshops, Powered Two-Wheeler Safety: Overcoming Challenges to Implementation, the Critical Role of Road Safety in Enhancing Child andYouth Wellbeing.
A special discussion and demonstration were held on Motorcycle ABS Technology by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS): Policy & Implementation in Asia & The Pacific. The discussion and demonstration highlighted ABS Technology can reduce motorbike crashes drastically. Kazi Md. Shifun Newaz of Vital Strategy and ARI Teacher one of the participants in the program mentioned that the Bangladesh Government should take an all-out initiative for mandatory use of ABS Technology in Bangladesh.
An Open Workshop was held on Media Campaigns andAdvocacy to Support Road Safety highlighting how Mass Media Campaigns can play a significant role in reducing Road and Traffic crashes. The discussant mentioned and emphasized media campaignsin many ways like as testimonials, instructional, message testing, and working collectively to reduce road crashes.
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) has been working to build media Professionalism for Road Safety through Constructive Journalism in Bangladesh to increase media interest in and understanding of road safety as a critical health and development issue and improve the quality of reporting on road safety, particularly in the areas of data visualization, knowledge, and constructive journalism. Mainstream journalists from print, electronic, and online media improve their capacity toproduce reports on the Road Safety issue. Through the fellowship program improve their capacity to inspire and encourage more reporting in the media on road safety tools, facts, and new skills so that they can write and visualize confidently the problem and its solutions.