Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to join you for UN Global Road Safety Week 2021.
“Speed management” is at the heart of this Week, since speed is a critical risk factor for road crashes, contributing to about one-third of all deaths globally on the road.
Speeding is one of the leading causes of road crashes in Asia and the Pacific.
Among the total fatalities caused by road crashes, fifty-five per cent are vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and users of two- and three-wheeled vehicles.
Many casualties are due to speeding; lowering speeds can improve the current situation.
ESCAP has been attaching great importance to road safety over the years.
Resolution 74/3, adopted by the Commission in May 2018, invites member States to address the main causes of road crashes.
The next year ESCAP implemented a project that supports our member States in addressing speeding as a main cause of road crashes.
Similarly, in 2020, ESCAP implemented a UN Road Safety Trust Fund early harvest project on “Strengthening Speed Management in the Philippines” to contribute to reductions in speed related road crashes and their severity levels by improving road user behaviour.
Furthermore, an ESCAP study indicated that 23 of the 44 reporting countries of the region used the out of date “manual speed enforcement” technique; and only 14 countries reported a good self-rating of their speed enforcement.
Therefore, effective measures need to be taken to address speeding issue.
Road safety and speed management have already been prioritized in global and regional mandates.
Last August the General Assembly adopted resolution 74/299, inviting member States to consider adopting comprehensive legislation on key risk factors, including speeding.
Despite a number of challenges in road safety, solutions do exist!
There are ample opportunities to reduce the enormous costs resulting from speeding-related deaths and serious injuries.
Numerous effective speed management interventions are there.
It is urgent to embrace them.
Speed management measures should be consistent with the global “Safe System” approach to road safety.
That is, human life must lie at the heart of all speed management initiatives.
In closing, we need effective leadership and sustained commitment to improve road safety across Asia and the Pacific.
We need a behavioural change in our societies.
The power of road safety is in our hands.
We need to take actions during this UN Global Road Safety Week that will make a difference for a lifetime.