In many Parliaments it is common to establish All Party Friends Groups (APFG) on a wide range of public interest subjects. Typically, an APFG will be formally recognised by the relevant Parliament but are not official legislative committees. They have no statutory or legislative role but can serve as a focal point to promote discussion of a topical subject. APFG’s organise periodic meetings, seminars, or visits to raise awareness of their issue on a non-party political basis. A number of such groups dedicated to road safety have been established around the world. Examples include the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Road Safety and the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Advisory Council on Road Safety.
To establish an APFG normally requires registration with the parliamentary authorities and be subject to some rules of compliance. For example, to qualify as a formally recognized. Parliamentary Friendship Group of the Australian Parliament requires that the group must:
– be open to all Federal Parliamentarians (Senators and Members);
– be apolitical;
– be clearly defined; and
– have no sponsorship from external organisations.
– elect a Chairperson and a Deputy Chair; and
– have a membership of at least 10 current sitting Senators and Members
Recognition of an APFG usually extends for the term of office of the Parliament. The aims of the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Road Safety are to:
– Elevate with the Federal Parliament greater awareness of road safety.
– Inform Federal Parliamentarians of the need for continual improvement in road safety outcomes.
– Inform Federal Parliamentarians of the national and international initiatives with potential to improve road safety outcomes.
– Ensure the Federal Members of Parliament are aware of the enormous social and economic cost of failing to continually prioritise improved road safety outcomes.
The UK’s Parliamentary Advisory Council on Road Safety (PACTS) similarly organises regular meetings and provides an independent technical advisory service for Parliamentarians on a wide range of transport safety matters. PACTS is a UK registered charity which conforms to the British Parliament’s requirements for all party groups – see: http://bit.ly/1Q2Q3rX. More information about the role and activities of PACTS can be obtained at their website: http://www.pacts.org.uk/about.
In 2013, the WHO published ‘Strengthening road safety legislation: a practice resource manual for countries’. The manual describes methods and provides resources that practitioners and decision-makers can use for enacting new laws or amending existing ones as part of a comprehensive road safety strategy. In particular, it recommends a stepwise approach to assessing and improving legislation relating to five specific risk factors for road-traffic injuries, as well as post-crash care.
The manual can be used to:
– develop an understanding of the framework of legislation and relevant processes that are applicable in a country;
– review current national legislation and regulations and identify barriers to the implementation and enforcement of effective road safety measures;
– identify available resources, such as international agreements, and evidence-based guidance and recommendations on effective measures, to improve legislation;
– prepare action plans to strengthen national legislation and regulations for the five main risk factors and for post-crash care, including advocating for improvement.
World Health Organisation: http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_traffic/en/
UN Road Safety Collaboration: http://www.who.int/roadsafety/en/
UN Road Safety Forum: http://www.unece.org/trans/main/welcwp1.html
UN Vehicle Regulations: http://www.unece.org/trans/main/welcwp29.html
International Transport Forum: http://internationaltransportforum.org/jtrc/safety/safety.html
The World Bank: http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/global-road-safety-facility