Each year in China, 20 million new drivers take to the roads adding to the 240 million vehicles currently registered in the country – this is a staggering figure which highlights the importance of managing mobility and motorization in a rapidly growing economy.
This formed the central topic at the recent China Road Safety Forum organized by the China Road and Traffic Safety Association, the China Motive Technology and Research Centre and China Economy Net. The forum was attended by more than 500 participants representing government ministries, traffic police, the motor vehicle engineering sector, road construction companies as well as research and academic institutions. The forum was also live broadcast to the public on China Economy Net.
The forum looked at some of the positive progress that has been achieved in China in recent years including the reduction in multi-fatality crashes, the high level of investment in road improvements and the criminalization of drink driving offences; yet it also recognized the scope of the challenges that lie ahead.
Speaking at the forum, GRSP Chief Executive Officer, Dr Pieter Venter (pictured) emphasized that the coming 10 years will be crucially important for road safety work in China. He stressed that “Government agencies cannot be expected to manage the enormous responsibility of improving road safety alone. A carefully coordinated and collaborative approach is needed, bringing into practice the efforts of all levels of government, civil society and the private sector”.
Vice Minister of the Ministry of Public Security, Mr Huang Ming, drew attention to aspects of the challenge including the mix of heavy and light vehicles, the vast difference in the geographical environments and the complexity of road and traffic conditions coupled with fast urbanization and poor road safety consciousness in sections of the community. He vowed to steer the full resources of the Ministry, as the lead agency, to adopt international good practice and to pull together all relevant agencies in a unified approach pushing all to fulfil their responsibilities.
The China Road Safety Forum was held over 2 days on August 29-30 in Beijing. http://www.ce.cn/cysc/ztpd/2013/dljt/