February 18 and 19 saw the convening of the 3rd International Road Safety Congress at the Shefa Neuroscience Research Centre in Tehran, Iran.
The road safety situation in Iran is poor, with road crashes serving as the second highest cause of death in the country. The high death tolls are blamed on excessive speed, unsafe vehicles, widespread disregard of traffic laws and inadequate emergency services, however progressive actions from road safety actors and the Road Traffic Police as reported at the congress are making an impact.
‘We have managed to reduce casualties during the past years, from more than 23,000 in 2010 to less than 18,000 in 2013. We use modern and smart technologies in our roads, we established good relations with organizations related to traffic, we promoted public awareness about traffic laws, and we also modified and updated our 40-year-old traffic laws’, said Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Mehmandar, the Road Traffic Police Chief of Iran.
Such improvements speak volumes as to the effect that strengthened laws, enhanced enforcement and heightened public awareness can bring about
Speaking on the congress, during which Global Road Safety Partnership gave two keynote presentations and sat on the Discussion Panel, Professor Dr Ali Gorji, neuroscience researcher and the scientific secretary of the congress said ‘Our main goal over the two days is promoting awareness about the safety of children in and around the road environment. We also seek to benefit from the experiences of leading countries regarding emergency services, including high level presentations from a well respected medical delegation from Germany’.Together with the shared learnings, output from the congress includes a draft recommendation document with a final version being prepared for submission to government.