Thailand’s new road safety Parliamentary Advisory Group takes aim at road crashes

Thailand’s National Assembly has launched a new Parliamentary Advisory Group on Road Safety to strengthen the country’s efforts to meet its road traffic fatality and injury reduction targets.

Parliamentarians play a key role in shaping laws, regulations and policies on road safety, including monitoring and evaluating progress. The new Parliamentary Advisory Group that was established with support from WHO and partners, will help shape and assess laws, policies and actions. It will also undertake studies and make recommendations on laws and regulations, support coordination, and engage with parliamentarians, partners and the public to boost interest and accountability for road safety.

“Everyone has a role to play in road safety, and this philosophy underpins our support for Thailand’s Parliamentary Advisory Group. It is a clarion call for engagement across all levels of society – government, business, communities and individuals – to unite to prevent road traffic deaths and injuries. Only by working together, embracing an all-society approach, can we achieve the reductions in road traffic deaths that Thailand aspires to,” said Dr Jos Vandelaer, WHO Representative in Thailand.

Thailand has made significant progress in reducing road fatalities, with a 10% decline in deaths per year in the decade to 2020. Yet around 18,000 people are still killed each year, and the fatality rate remains in the top 20% of countries globally, with 25 deaths per 100 000 population. In line with the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, the country aims to halve road traffic deaths by 2027.

Chaired by the President of the National Assembly, the Advisory Group includes Members of Parliament, government experts – including the Ministries of Transport, Health and the Interior – the Royal Thai Police, experts from academia, from the National Broadcast and Telecommunications Commission, insurance sector, civil society organizations and from the WHO Collaborating Center on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion at Thailand’s Khon Kaen Regional Hospital.

The Parliamentary Advisory Group is inspired by the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Transport Safety in the United Kingdom, and the UK’s independent Parliamentary Advisory Council on Road Safety that brings safety professionals, experts and legislators together to improve road safety.

WHO and partners have worked with Parliamentarians in Thailand to advance laws and policies for road safety for years. This includes supporting a review of the country’s progress against the voluntary global road safety performance targets and supporting a range of legislative topics through the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety [2015-2019] This helped lead to the establishment of new guidelines for reducing urban speed limits, the requirement for all vehicle occupants to wear seatbelts, the adoption of mandatory motorcycle ABS and the adoption of mandatory child safety restraints in vehicles for children up to age six.

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