On August 2, Turkish Red Crescent Society (TRCS) held a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, in collaboration with the Road Safety Platform (RSP) and the World Health Organization. The press conference was TRC’s first activity under their road safety advocacy project. TRCS will be contributing to an ongoing advocacy campaign focused on strengthening seat-belt laws in partnership with organizations including the World Health Organization and the Association for Safe International Travel (ASIRT). The project is funded by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme.
During the press conference, TRCS ‘s Vice President, Mr Mr. Ahmet Lutfi AKAR, called for stronger seat belt laws and enforcement to reduce road crash death and injury on the roads of Turkey. He also encouraged the Turkish Parliament to close a loophole exempting commercial drivers from wearing seat-belts in the existing national traffic law. Representatives from the World Health Organization, the Turkish Drivers and Automobiles Association and the Road Safety Platform also gave statements on the importance of enacting and enforcing comprehensive seatbelt laws.
The press conference also sought to raise awareness of the dangers of not wearing seat belts through a drama show performed by TRCS volunteers. The press conference concluded with the Traffic Police pulling over passing cars whose drivers and passengers were not wearing seatbelts to warn them of the risks of not wearing their seatbelts.
The press conference garnered significant media coverage, with over 60 media hits on television, radio and online.