Bosch believes that more can be done to improve road safety in Southeast Asia. Each year, there are approximately 63,000 reported road traffic deaths in the ASEAN member countries, although the World Health Organization believes that the actual number lies at around 117,000 per year due either to inaccurate data or undocumented accidents. Within the region, there is considerable variation in fatality rates between the individual countries. While Singapore has one of the fewest traffic-related deaths worldwide per capita, Thailand has one of the most, second only to Libya. The Philippines has the second-lowest road traffic fatality rate in the region after Singapore.
“We need to find sustainable solutions for a problem that is the leading death cause among young people in the region, taking the lives of thousands of citizens, and costing the governments a tremendous amount of money, every year,” said Martin Hayes, president of Bosch in Southeast Asia in a keynote address at the EU-ASEAN Business Summit in Manila, the Philippines. “The loss of lives, and cost of damage to property and safety reputation pose an extensive threat to the social and economic progress of the ASEAN member countries.”
ASEAN member countries’ leaders have taken progressive steps to address the threat that traffic accidents present to the health and welfare of their citizens, and to their economies. In November 2015, transport ministers of the economic bloc adopted the ASEAN Regional Road Safety Strategy which provides a framework of strategies and actions to halve the number of road fatalities in the region by 2020. The strategy also received the commitment of the economic ministers of ASEAN and the ASEAN Economic Community Council in February 2017, who will also be working towards improving road safety policies and programs, and harmonising the region’s safety regulations in line with UN regulations. The UN General Assembly has proclaimed the period from 2011 to 2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety with the goal to stabilise and reduce the level of road traffic fatalities around the world.