Over 13 people die each day on the roads of Myanmar, the second highest death toll in the region.This is a problem as urgent as it is serious: the number of deaths per 100,000 people has tripled in Myanmar over the past decade.
In any society, road users have a right to travel safely. Myanmar is no different; its drivers, cyclists, bus users and pedestrians need roads designed to prevent accidents, and good emergency services to respond when necessary. Road safety, or the lack of it, touches the lives of all who live in Myanmar and all who visit.
Improving road safety is no secret. Many countries have transformed the experience of their roads through better governance and improved infrastructure, policing and education of all road users in the hazards they face. The Golden Rules of road use represent the kind of message that has worked throughout the world.
The Suu Foundation enjoys very close links with the Federation International de l’Automobile, the FIA. Our Chair of Trustees Mr Jean Todt leads the FIA, and is the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety. He and our Vice-Chair Ms Michelle Yeoh, who is a UN Goodwill Ambassador together received the 2016 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the United Nations Association of New York for the work they have done across the world to save lives.
The Suu Foundation is committed to improving road safety through three main programmes:
1.The provision of a high level panel of international experts to work with the Ministry of Transport and Communications to recommend practicable and effective changes that will improve the safety of road users. The panel has already visited Myanmar, and is working closely with the national Government and with the governments of the States and Regions of Myanmar. We intend that the panel’s work will catalyse substantive, long term change
2. The promotion of the Golden Rules of road safety, through a public awareness campaign distributed via all media outlets and government communications. This will be supported by media expertise sourced through the Foundation
3. Urgent work to explore how best to improve the safety of motorcycle users by providing high quality helmets suitable for all ages. As part of this, we are investigating whether it might be possible to begin the manufacture of such helmets in Myanmar.