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November 15, 2018

VP U Henry Van Thio addresses road safety council

Vice President U Henry Ven Thio addresses the fourth meeting of NRSC in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA

U Henry Van Thio, Vice-President and Chairman of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), addressed the fourth meeting of the NRSC yesterday at the meeting hall of the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Nay Pyi Taw.
Present at the meeting were NRSC members Union Ministers, the Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman, Mayors of Yangon and Mandalay, Deputy Ministers, state/region ministers for road and transportation, sub-committee secretaries and other officials.
The Vice President said the road and vehicle safety work processes of the NRSC are of great importance for the country as well as for the people.
Because of the leadership of the NRSC and the cooperation and conduct of relevant entities, fatalities and injuries from traffic and road accidents were reduced during the 2018 New Year Thingyan period. Traffic and road accidents could not be foreseen but are preventable.
If drivers and road users follow the vehicle, traffic and road rules, loss of properties, lives and limbs could be reduced significantly. Relevant departments need to systematically encourage the behaviour of more learned and experienced drivers who have the correct outlook on road safety, while private driving schools need good and complete courses with capable and truly experienced driving trainers, teaching guide literature and practical driving lessons.
The NRSC has specified the curriculum, layout, number of training cars and qualification of the trainers in a training school. As per the new specifications laid down, small vehicle driving schools and big vehicle driving schools have been established.
Organizing an effort to use correct signaling resulted in the majority of the drivers using correct signals, and this will be continued until every driver safely uses the correct signals.
With many people using motorcycles, the drive towards wearing quality helmets is the work that would allow the NRSC Action Plan to be successful. As the NRSC had not specified what a quality helmet is, the NRSC is arranging to invite foreign experts and conduct a Development of Myanmar Motorcycle Safety Helmet Standard Workshop. When a standard is set, it should be within reach of the majority of the people and assure the safety of the users. In addition to this, relevant sub-committees and ministries are urged to bear in mind the suggestions on road safety provided by the Suu Foundation High-Level Panel which are long term work processes that need to be implemented continuously with an aim towards benefiting the country and the people.
Road Crash Database Software provided by the ADB TA-8987 Project will soon be tested, allowing for correct assessments and calculations on vehicle accidents. The Myanmar Police Force that covers the entire country, including far flung and remote places, is urged to use this Road Crash Database Software to obtain correct and complete information.
Work processes established by the NRSC are being implemented by sub-committees as well as state/region NRSCs and all need to raise their efforts to achieve more successes in protecting the properties and lives of the people. While the NRSC is setting up and assessing programs according to the National Road Safety Action Plan, relevant departments that are actually in touch with the people are to make realistic approaches and increase their efforts, said the Vice President.
Next, NRSC Vice Chairman Union Minister Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe explained and discussed works on eliminating and preventing vehicle and road accidents, actions taken against violators of traffic and road rules, occurrence of traffic and road accidents, information works against vehicle and road accidents, cooperating with the people and students against traffic accidents and programmes conducted according to the law to eliminate vehicle and road accidents.
Afterwards, NRSC secretary Road Transport Administration (RTA) Department Director General U Zaw Min Oo explained works implemented by the NRSC, implementation of the Action Plan and the status of implementing 43 suggestions provided by the Suu Foundation High-Level Panel.
Management sub-committee, education, inspection and enforcement sub-committee, research and health sub-committee and financial sub-committee secretaries then explained the works of the sub-committees and implementation of the third meeting’s decisions.
Following this, Nay Pyi Taw Council Chairman and state/region ministers for road and transportation explained road safety works implemented and implementation of the third meeting’s decisions.
Later, council secretary U Zaw Min Oo and RTA Department Chief Engineer Daw PhyuPhyu Win explained the Suu Foundation Feasibility Study for Helmet Manufacturing in Myanmar, setting a helmet standard in Myanmar and a study on setting standards for motorcycle helmets.
NRSC members Union Minister Dr. Myint Htwe, Deputy Minister for Information U Aung Hla Tun, Yangon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe, Mandalay Mayor Dr. Ye Lwin, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer U Tint Swe and Myanmar Engineering Society Chairman U Aung Myint also provided additional discussions.
In his concluding speech to the meeting, NRSC Chairman Vice President U Henry Van Thio urged continuing the momentum of increased use of motorcycle helmets and seat belts, alcohol testing and taking actions to prevent traffic violations.
He also noted the progress in implementing National Road Safety Action Plan (2014-2020), but said there are still works yet to begin, which relevant ministries and entities should implement as soon as possible within the project period. The Vice President also spoke of the requirements to systematically and regularly inspect vehicles and motorcycles. Relevant departments should conduct Road Safety Audits together, and he urged the establishment of a Road Safety Fund, according to the law. The world’s vision on Road Safety “Towards Zero Together” could be achieved only through organizing and participation of the people, said the Vice President.

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