UP CIFAL Philippines co-organizes “Improving Road Safety for Sustainable Cities: Best Practice Sharing Workshop” in Bangkok, Thailand

With the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the King Prajadhipok’s Institute (KPI), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and the People’s Safety Foundation, UP CIFAL Philippines contributed to take road safety to center stage in one of the busiest metropolises in the Asian region. The workshop which was held on March 20-21, 2018 at the Century Park Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand was supported by the Diageo, a beverage alcohol company, through its “no drunken driving” campaign.

Following a multi-stakeholders’ conference on road safety in November 2017 in Manila, UP CIFAL Philippines helped bring together the collaboration of the UNITAR and Thailand-based KPI to organize the workshop. About 25 government leaders, experts, academics, advocates, and private sector from Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines attended the event, including representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Thailand and Thailand’s Vice Minister for Transport Teerapong Rodprasert and other private organizations.

Road safety hits the core of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) specifically on SDG 3 (Ensure good health and promote the well-being of all people from all ages)  and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). SDG 3.6 aims to “halve the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020.”

UNITAR’s Director for Decentralisation Programme Mr. Alex Mejia and Dr. Edna E.A. CO, Director of CIFAL Philippines, joined KPI’s Secretary General Prof. Woothisam Tanchai and Rodprasert in welcoming the participants to the workshop on Day 1.

The best practice sharing highlights the similarities among participating countries in the huge number of deaths and injuries due to unsafe and insecure road environment. It was noted that across the participating countries including Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, the number of injuries arising from motorcycle driving is a growing concern.

The workshop features an all-sided approach to promote road safety, encompassing effective enforcement, engineering, education through awareness and capacity-building, and evaluation. Regulation, which means levelling up the quality of performance of enforcement units, is crucial to road safety.

The role of the academia is likewise highlighted particularly in the audit and monitoring of disaggregated data on road safety performance, pursuing  technical development and instructive policies to the government both in the execution and legislation on road safety. People’s Safety Foundation emphasized the value of cascading the best practices and building awareness at the community level by developing a strong citizenship. The resounding challenge was to work for a multi-stakeholders’ involvement on road safety,  to localize the best practices, and to level up the efforts among countries in the ASEAN which share similar threats to life and safety.