Under the Advocacy & Grants Programme, funded through the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, GRSP is partnering with the Turkish Red Crescent Society in an ongoing campaign to address gaps in Turkish seat-belt legislation. Currently, a number of exemptions exist in the legislation which lead to road crash fatalities and more severe road crash injuries.
Whilst the campaign has been in progress for more than a year, it has not been without its setbacks. Political uncertainty has at times ‘bumped the issue off of the political radar’, however we are now in the period leading up to the June national parliamentary elections. Parties will be looking for community issues with which to align.
The focus now through a heightened activity programme within the Turkish Red Crescent Society is to keep the issue in the media and to make it a topic of discussion within the government, including the Ministry of Interior, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and in national election party campaigns. This will not be an easy task, although moving things in the right direction was a press conference organized in February advocating for victims of road crashes whose injuries have left them paralyzed. The press conference reached out to the Turkish National Police and Parliament to advance the policy proposal and generated a number of national media stories in its support.
A number of advocacy avenues are being explored to table the topic and identify media opportunities; we shall keep you informed as to the progress in the countdown to the elections.