IRF joined representatives of Asian-Pacific governments, international road safety experts, key stakeholders, donors and other groups on 26 August for an on-line discussion on to plan next steps for the implementation of the Asia-Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO).
Witnessing a high rate of road deaths compared to other regions, Asia-Pacific encompasses some of the world’s countries with the highest numbers of road traffic-related deaths, most of which involve vulnerable road users. As a result, many countries in the region have expressed serious concern, and wish to improve road safety for sustainable transport systems. Having acknowledged that measuring road safety performance is fundamental in order to monitor progress towards the road safety-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), steps have been taken towards creating a regional road safety observatory.
The establishment of the APRSO was announced during the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm, Sweden, in February 2020, following two preparatory workshops in Singapore (March 2019) and Bangkok (December 2019). (Read more about the previous APRSO workshops here: https://irfnet.ch/2019/12/20/irf-at-the-second-workshop-towards-the-establishment-of-a-road-safety-observatory-in-asia-pacific/ )
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) serves as the secretariat for the APRSO, which is intended to support countries improve their understanding of road safety issues, raise awareness, share experiences and best practices to reduce fatalities and injuries, generate robust road crash data, undertake analysis and develop policies for road safety in the region.
During the workshop it was announced that Afghanistan, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Lao PDR and Mongolia are the first official APRSO Members, with invitations having been extended to most countries in the region. Following the sharing and promoting of good practices including on national and regional road safety policies and strategies, the session was further used to discuss the short and medium term work plan and proposals for new task forces to be created in addition to the existing ones on minimum set of road safety indicators and the task for on governance. Sharing its expertise on road safety audits and engineering, data collection and capacity building, IRF volunteered to support some of the task forces working on APRSO.
Further, the ongoing APRSO studies and initiatives were discussed and the new APRSO website (www.aprso.org) was officially launched. A global meeting of all the regional road safety observatories is expected to take place in December 2020.
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