Developing the ASEAN Regional Road Safety Strategy
Keywords: Road Safety Across Cultures
In 2011, more than 75,000 people died in road crashes in the ten member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and many times this number sustained long term injuries. Improving road safety outcomes in ASEAN is not only important for the welfare and economic benefit of these countries, but given that a significant proportion of the world’s population lives in ASEAN, it will strongly influence whether the aims of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety and the Sustainable Development Goals are reached. For this reason, the Asian Development Bank, funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, has funded a package of action to improve road safety in ASEAN, including the development of a regional road safety strategy. The diversity of the member nations of ASEAN poses significant challenges for the development of the strategy. For example, the road fatality rates per 100,000 population in Malaysia and Thailand are about 5 times greater than in Singapore. In addition, the importance of particular road safety issues varies across the ASEAN countries and for countries which are undergoing rapid motorization, the order of importance may change over the life of the strategy. The development of the ASEAN Regional Road Safety Strategy has adopted the five pillars of road safety of the UN Decade of Action but focused on those aspects which are most relevant at the regional level and where a regional approach will support and facilitate actions taken by individual countries.