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Global Road Safety Initiative Launched for ASEAN Countries

News Release | 15 June 2005

BANGKOK, THAILAND (15 June 2005) - ASEAN will be the first regional area of focus for a new five-year, US$10 million initiative to prevent injury and death on the road, ADB and Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) announced today.

The Global Road Safety Initiative (GRSI) is funded by seven of the world's largest auto and oil industry companies. The companies - Ford, GM, Honda, Michelin, Renault, Shell and Toyota - are all members of GRSP, which will be the delivery organization for the initiative.

GRSI is to be undertaken in low and middle income countries and will focus on the key risk factors identified in the World Health Organization's (WHO's) 2004 World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention. These include seat belt and helmet use, alcohol, inappropriate speeds, and safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

It will leverage good practice guides being developed by WHO, the World Bank, GRSP and FIA Foundation on these issues, establish a regional training initiative to enhance knowledge and skills on good practices, and support demonstration projects, to be delivered by those who have received the training.

"I am very pleased that ASEAN countries will benefit from GRSI," GRSP Chief Executive David Silcock said at the International Road Federation World Meeting in Bangkok today. "We have a very successful partnership model in the Thailand-GRSP Foundation, and I am sure that by working together we can save lives."

ADB has supported the preparation of a regional road safety strategy for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, and action plans for each country. The strategy and plans stress the need for partnerships between governments, nongovernment organizations, and the private sector.

At the 10th ASEAN summit in Vientiane in November 2004, ASEAN leaders agreed to a transport agenda that includes the goal of "significant improvement in road safety in ASEAN through the implementation of the ASEAN five-year Regional Road Safety Action Plan."

The support of the GRSI will enable GRSP to deliver road safety improvements within the framework of the Regional Plan, working closely with ADB and ASEAN countries.

"The increasing number of road crash deaths and injuries is having a substantial impact on the economic and social development of the region and costs $15 billion a year, equivalent to 2.3% per annum of the region's gross domestic product," said Charles Melhuish, ADB Lead Transport Sector Specialist.

"Effective road safety programs require a multi-sectoral effort between transport, health, education and police officials as well as involvement from the private sector and civil society. ASEAN leaders have recognized this requirement and each country now has a national road safety action plan that provides for participation by all sectors. Successful implementation of these plans will save more than 42,000 lives and prevent three million personal injuries over the next five years."

GRSP is a partnership between business, civil society, and governments dedicated to the sustainable reduction of death and injury on the roads in developing and transition countries. Founded in 1999 as part of the World Bank's Business Partners for Development initiative, GRSP has grown into a freestanding program, hosted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), based in Geneva.

Visit the GRSP web site at www.GRSProadsafety.org

For further information contact
ADB - Charles Melhuish
+63 2 8632 6803
[email protected]

GRSP - David Silcock
+41 22 730 4208
mobile +41 79 217 3348
[email protected]

Andrew Downing
+41 22 730 4254
+41 79 217 3370
[email protected]