A new road safety observatory has been established in the Asia-Pacific region to assess crash data.

The Asia-Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO) is a joint initiative of the World Bank, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the International Transport Forum (ITF).

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are also part of this endeavour.

APRSO primarily seeks to reduce road accidents by assisting the Asia-Pacific countries to procure, assess and share reliable road crash data.

The road safety observatory will also promote cooperation and assist in the implementation of effective policies to reduce road incidents.

Around 2,000 people a day are estimated to lose their lives in the region’s road accidents. Besides loss of life, road crashes have significant economic and social effects.

ITF secretary-general Young Tae Kim said: “The ITF looks forward to bring all our knowhow on crash data to the Asia-Pacific Road Safety Observatory and making it available to the countries of the region.

“Better data will make a big difference in securing political support for effective evidence-based road safety interventions in a world region that is more affected by the road crash epidemic than many others.”

The decision to establish APRSO follows the launch of the Latin America and Caribbean Road Safety Observatory (OISEVI) in 2012 and the African Road Safety Observatory (ARSO) in 2018.

APRSO will receive financial support from UK Aid through the Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF), while the World Health Organization and UNESCAP will offer technical assistance.