Prime Minister of Turkey addresses 8th Highway Traffic Safety Symposium

Security General Directorate/Veysel Dalkiran

In 2016, 7300 lives were lost and hundreds of thousands of people were injured on Turkey’s roads. In recognition that this figure is unacceptably high and to emphasize that greater road safety is essential, Prime Minister of Turkey Mr Binali Yıldırım addressed delegates at the country’s 8th Highway Traffic Safety Symposium.

Large investments in infrastructure are being made to accommodate the rapid increase in motorization in Turkey. The Prime Minister noted the importance of ensuring that the roads being built meet safety standards, and that road users are behaving safely.

The Symposium, attended by over 1000 delegates, took place on 16–18 November 2017 in Ankara. Ministers of the interior, of transport and of education outlined the contribution of their sectors to improving road safety.

WHO and experts call for more coordinated action

During a panel discussion chaired by WHO Representative to Turkey Dr Pavel Ursu, experts from Portugal, Spain and Turkey as well as WHO debated examples of how legislative, enforcement and educational practices could be applied in Turkey.

The panel advocated for more coordinated and systematic preventive action through an interministerial committee for implementing effective interventions to reduce road crashes. It identified WHO’s new technical package “Save LIVES” as a tool for reducing deaths on the roads.

WHO also organized an intersectoral policy dialogue to discuss the national road safety strategy for 2012–2020. The strategy aims to reach the goals set out in the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020. The Decade of Action was adopted by a United Nations General Assembly resolution in 2010, and launched in May 2011 in over 110 countries.

Participants also highlighted the importance of having more objective outcome measures and better coordination of education and enforcement campaigns.

The points of action from the meetings will be presented for consideration by the body in charge of road safety in Turkey.