In 2016, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi directed her Foundation to support the Government of Myanmar deliver its ambitious goals to improve road safety in the country. This is an urgent problem: Myanmar has the second most dangerous roads in Southeast Asia; the WHO estimate that almost 11,000 drivers, passengers and pedestrians die, and another 70,000 are injured, on Myanmar’s roads each year.
“Road accidents are a major cause of death and injury in Myanmar and across the world. It is therefore right that the Suu Foundation is making this its first priority.” – Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
We are grateful that Total E&P Myanmar is supporting us in this important endeavour.
The Suu Foundation brought the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) High Level Panel for Road Safety to Myanmar. This team of world-leading experts worked with government officials to develop a road safety strategy, tailored to Myanmar’s needs. The Panel visited Myanmar twice, and forged strong links with Union and Regional Ministers, and authored a report making 43 recommendations that will improve the safety of Myanmar’s roads. These span all 5 pillars of road safety, and include responses to the needs identified by government officials, as well as suggestions on policy changes and new initiatives.
This report is the first of its kind in Myanmar, and provides an authoritative strategy for improving the safety of the country’s roads. But the scale of the problem remains large; the Government is keen to implement the panel’s blueprint for safer roads, but lacks the capacity to do so. The National Road Safety Council, chaired by Vice President U Henry Van Thio, adopted all the recommendations in May 2017; they have asked for the Suu Foundation’s support to make them happen. We propose to provide expertise to assist with the implementation of the entire report, and will run focused projects in the areas in which the Foundation can have the greatest impact.
Suu Foundation Road Safety Project Officer
We have appointed a road safety project officer who will be dedicated to ensuring that the Government is fully able to implement the Panel’s recommendations. Over the grant period, we will provide training and mentorship for her so that she is able to become a road safety change-maker in Myanmar, and continue the Suu Foundation’s work long after this engagement.
High Level expert support
The Suu Foundation will support experts from the Malaysian Institute for Road Safety Research (MIROS), to make regular visits to Myanmar over 2 year period. They will work closely with Road Safety Project Officer of Suu Foundation and the Ministry of Transports and Communications, providing advice of the breadth of topics covered in the report, including the adoption of a safe systems approach, the development of modern road design guidelines, adherence to the international standard of road traffic safety management (ISO39001), improvements to accident data collection, as well as the development of a vehicle type approval process. The experts will also support the Government improve the safety of motorcyclists, pedestrians and rural roads in the city; in Yangon, Mandalay and in Ayerwaddy Region.
The Suu Foundation will provide academic support to improve technical road safety skills within the Ministries of Transport and Construction. Suu Foundation will provide scholarships for road designers within the Ministry of Constructions to attend post graduate engineering programs in Southeast Asia. Our work will assist with the development of 21st Century road construction guidelines, providing safer roads in the future, and helping to apply these standards to existing ones. For the Ministry of Transport, we will provide training across all five pillars of road safety; national road safety management training course will be held in Nay Pyi Taw, led by international road safety experts.
Introducing UN Safety Regulations
As recommended by the FIA High Level Panel, the Suu Foundation will support the Government with the adoption of 5 specific regulations from the UNECE Minimum Safety Requirements: Regulation 22 (motorcycle helmets), 14 (Safety-belts anchorages), 16 (safety belts), 94 (frontal collision) and 95 (lateral collision). The adoption process will provide an opportunity to build capacity within the Ministry, so that they are able to ratify further regulations in the future.
The Suu Foundation Road Safety Project, with the support of Total E&P Myanmar, will allow the Myanmar Government to systematically implement the recommendations of the FIA High Level Panel. Together, the Government and Suu Foundation will develop an action plan that will contain a sequence of increasingly complex tasks that civil servants can tackle sequentially as their skills progress, supported by regional expertise and our Road Safety Project officer. The impact of our work, and the improvements to road safety, will be owned by Myanmar nationals, and will be championed by people who will remain involved in road safety long after this project’s lifetime.