EMBARQ Turkey hosts Road Safety in Urban Transport conference
With the number of motor vehicles in Turkey doubling in the past decade, road safety is a growing issue for the country. Arzu Tekir, Director of EMBARQ Turkey, underscores the magnitude of damage traffic fatalities cause around the world: "At a global scale, 1.3 million people die in traffic crashes annually. This figure is equal to the passenger load of 3,250 Boeing 747 planes." Without further intervention, this trend will increase, as traffic crashes are projected to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.
To combat this rising crisis, Turkey became a partner country in the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2010-2020) plan. Within the scope of this global action initiative, Turkey has commited to decrease fatalities and injuries from traffic crashes by 50% by 2020. EMBARQ Turkey is supporting these efforts through its Road Safety Lab (RSLab) projects, which operate in the five Turkish cities with the highst rate of traffic fatalities. Building on these past successes, EMBARQ Turkey’s Road Safety in Urban Transport conference brought together a broad range of stakeholders to discuss new approaches to traffic safety for cities.
An ongoing commitment to road safety
Since Turkey has committed to playing a role in the Decade of Action for Road Safety, the country has launched a number of initiatives designed to increase road safety. These range from awareness campaigns on the importance of seatbelt use to global dialogues on safe and livable cities. EMBARQ Turkey has also been a longtime supporter of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, collaborating with Turkey’s Security General Directorate of Traffic Services Department to develop and implement road safety strategies through Turkey's Traffic Safety Platform.
Road Safety in Urban Transport conference advances key goals
Held on April 28, 2014, the Road Safety in Urban Transport conference addressed many different challenges in creating safer streets and healthy cities, tackling both the physical design of Turkey’s roadways and the policies surrounding road safety. The conference was supported by the Ministry of Transportation, Communication and Maritime Affairs; Traffic Safety Platform of Turkey; the World Health Organization (WHO); Red Crescent Turkey; Istanbul’s largest public transport operator IETT; Traffic and Transport Safety Research Center; and the Suat Ayöz Traffic Accidents Victims Assocation and was sponsored by 3M and AYGAZ.
The conference gathered stakeholders to discuss the objectives and strategies necessary to reduce traffic crashes in Turkey. The conference was EMBARQ Turkey’s first in its coordinating role of the Urbanization Committee of the Traffic Safety Platform and marks the beginning of a multi-year collaboration between EMBARQ Turkey and other members of the Traffic Safety Platform to help Turkey advance its road safety goals. Future work between the Traffic Safety Platform and EMBARQ Turkey will include capacity building around urban transport and safety and continuation of on-the-ground projects to improve safety for cyclists, pedestrians, drivers, and transport passengers.
Photos from the conference are available on EMBARQ Turkey's Flickr account.