ADB: Make Roads Safe in Asia and Pacific region
‘Make Roads Safe’ ambassador Michelle Yeoh spotlights Asia’s high road accident rate at ADB Forum
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Global Ambassador for the “Make Roads Safe” campaign Michelle Yeoh on Wednesday jointly called for governments to support transport solutions that will reduce the high rate of deaths and injury caused by road accidents in the Asia and Pacific region.
“Every year some 1.18 million people globally are victims of fatal road accidents, and 60% of all road accidents occur here in Asia and the Pacific,” said ADB’s Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Ursula Schaefer-Preuss.
“Equally notable is how this issue impacts the poor, who suffer gravely from unsafe roads, while remaining marginalized by transport policies that are biased in favor of private vehicles,” she added in a forum.
In her role as ambassador for the “Make Roads Safe” campaign, Ms. Yeoh, an award-winning actress, advocates for road injury to be recognized as a global public health and development priority. She was at ADB headquarters in Manila to participate in a three-day transport forum at which leading experts from around the world are discussing crucial issues facing transport in Asia and the Pacific.
“The Asia and the Pacific region is facing an epidemic of road death and injury, but we also have innovative Asian road safety solutions such as the International Road Assessment Programme, which is transforming the way we understand safe road design, and the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative,” Ms. Yeoh said. “There is so much we can do to save lives on our roads.”
ADB has developed a new paradigm for sustainable urban transport that offers the prospect of much more effective management of the region’s cities over the coming years. The strategy includes a strong push for a people-focused “avoid-shift-improve” approach that promotes accessibility instead of mobility and manages demand for travel to supply instead of building more infrastructure for the seemingly unstoppable growth in private vehicles.
This involves developing an efficient land-use and transport system to help city dwellers avoid motor transport; a shift towards energy-efficient modes of travel, particularly public transport; and measures to improve vehicle and fuel technologies.
ADB also signed a memorandum of understanding with the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society to promote safe and sustainable transport in Asia and the Pacific. Among the planned joint activities will be “helmet vaccine” initiatives in ADB developing member countries.