UN special session on South East Asia road safety situation - Geneva 19.03.18
FIM attended this event which was opened by Jean Todt, UN Special Envoy for Road Safety. He reminded the meeting that over one billion people live in countries that have not signed the UN conventions on road safety. (The Geneva and Vienna conventions).
If these countries adopted these, and followed the advice given under this system by UN experts, the situation in road safety could be improved.
Many high level speakers from South East Asia attended including Dr Rohit Baluja President of the Institute for Road Traffic Education, India. In his address Dr Baluja presented a film about the situation in South East Asia. He stated that there were two worlds. The developed world where he considered adherence to road safety norms was at about ninety percent. The middle and low income countries where frequently the roads were in a state of chaos with almost no adherence to traffic norms and consequently huge numbers of casualties.
Many delegates spoke about motorcycling safety. Dr Ir Muhammad Marizwan bin Abdul Manan from Malaysia stated that he wanted motorcycles to be part of a solution and not regarded as a problem. He was concerned that the arrival of new technology automated and semi automated vehicles had not been properly researched in terms of their interaction with motorcycles.
Dr Kunnawee Kanitpong Advisor on road safety to the Prime Minister of Thailand also spoke about motorcycling. In Thailand motorcycles were often used as taxis and many passengers did not wear a helmet. The government was working on a new strategy addressing all issues, training, licensing and the road environment.
Other contributions came from the Philippines, Cambodia, the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Brazil giving a picture representative of middle and low income countries.
At the conclusion Dr Baluja representing the IRTE signed a new agreement with the UN whereby IRTE’s college of traffic management is recognised as a centre of excellence for the region.
Delegates applauded the extraordinary efforts of Dr Baluja* to improve the situation in South East Asia.
LINK to Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety Documents
*Dr Baluja also serves as one of the independent panel of judges for the annual FIM Road Safety award