22 Dec 15
Road Safety Legislators Meet in Brasilia
Co-chaired by Deputy Hugo Leal of the Brazilian Congress and Lord Robertson of the UK Parliament, an official side event at the Conference, explored the role of Parliaments in supporting the UN Decade of Action and the casualty reduction target included in the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The speakers included Dr Margaret Chan, Director General of the WHO, Hon Michael McCormack MP, Minister for Road Safety, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Government of Australia, Dr. Pere Macías, President, Commission on Road Safety, Congress of Deputies, Parliament of Spain, Hon. Irene Naa Torshie Addo MP, Member of Parliamentary Committee on Roads and Transport, Parliament of Ghana and Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Council for Transport Safety and Member of the UK House of Commons.
The speakers highlighted the key contribution of road safety legislators in the adoption of effective road injury prevention polices and measures. Dr Chan highlighted the findings of the Global Road Safety Status Report 2015 which charts progress in the application of laws relating to key behavioural risk factors (non-use of helmets & seat belts, speeding and impaired driving), road and vehicle construction standards. However, Dr Chan also warned that far more action is required to overcome the serious shortfall in legislation by many Member States and to meet the target to halve road deaths and injuries by 2020. Dr Chan applauded the engagement of parliamentarians and welcomed the proposal to establish a global network for road safety legislators.
All the parliamentarians speaking endorsed the concept of a network which can build on the successful all party groups that already exist in some national legislatures. Positive examples of the role played by parliamentarians in building support for strong legislation were presented and it was stressed that cross party support was a key ingredient to successful legislative action. The participants agreed to establish a legislative network and invited the WHO and David Ward of the Commission for Global Road Safety to consider next steps with the parliamentarians present serving as an initial steering committee of the proposed global network for road safety legislators.
On the occasion of the High Level Conference the Brazilian House of Representatives also hosted a special reception for Parliamentarians. Speakers include Deputy Hugo Leal, Lord Robertson and Deputy Christiane Yared who described her role creating the Centre for Support for Victims following the death her son Gilmar Rafael Yared in a road crash in 2009. The event also featured a special performance by the Brazilian singer Laura Rissotto.