Wednesday 7 November: The Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University and iRAP have signed a Centre of Excellence agreement, which will support the development of road infrastructure safety in Thailand as well as internationally.

Speaking from the Safety 2018 Conference in Bangkok, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Associate Professor Kasem Choocharukul said we are delighted to join with iRAP’s nine Centres of Excellence world-wide to provide road infrastructure safety technical leadership.

“As a Centre of Excellence, the Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University will focus on building local capacity for high quality risk mapping, star rating and safer road investment planning assessments across Thailand. We will also work in partnership with the Ministry of Transport, Department of Highways, Department of Rural Roads, Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the University and other key stakeholders to build a locally led ThaiRAP programme that will save lives and serious injuries across the country”.

“This partnership with iRAP will build on our Road Assessment Programme experience made possible through the Bloomberg Philanthropies supported BIGRS partnership with the World Bank-GRSF and iRAP. The links with iRAP’s partner network across more than 90 countries worldwide will ensure we can accelerate progress toward the achievement of the UN Targets and eliminate high-risk roads across the country,” Professor Choocharukul said.

Road Infrastructure Star Rating assessments are already informing safer road designs and upgrade projects in Thailand, including assessments with the Department of Highways, Department of Rural Roads and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and detailed training is already building local capacity for the future.

iRAP Chief Executive Officer Rob McInerney said addressing the level of death and injury on roads in Thailand is a priority for the country and the world. The World Health Organisation reports that Thailand has the second highest road traffic fatality rate in the world with an annual estimate of over 24,000 deaths or 66 deaths every day. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists account for 83% of road fatalities in Thailand and road crashes cost Thailand an estimated 3 to 5 % of its GDP (WHO, 2018).

“The expertise of the Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University and other local partners in building a successful ThaiRAP programme can help reduce death and injury across the country. In particular the elimination of 1 and 2-star roads for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists is a priority. Meeting the UN Global Road Safety Target to achieve more than 75% of travel on 3-star or better roads for all road users in Thailand by 2030 will reduce death and injury across the country by more than a third. Importantly iRAP estimates there will be at least USD$34 of benefits for every $1 invested” Mr McInerney said.

“Chulalongkorn University has a 101 year history as Thailand’s national university and the Faculty of Engineering is well placed to be a Centre of Excellence having demonstrated distinction in road safety engineering and focused research activities for the public good. Local innovation and expertise in providing evidence-based solutions for vulnerable road users will save lives in Thailand and will benefit all of the iRAP partners around the world.”

“We look forward to working with the University as well as the Thai Government, mobility clubs, development banks and local road safety stakeholders to build a great ThaiRAP programme and save lives across the country,” Mr McInerney said.

Other iRAP Centres of Excellence include ARRB Group in Australia, Instituto Mexicano del Transporte (IMT), Labtrans in Brazil, the Korea Transport Institute (KOTI), Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), MRIGlobal based in the USA, Research Institute of Highways (RIOH) in China, TRL in the United Kingdom, and SWOV in the Netherlands.

For further information on the current situation of Thailand’s roads, the road attributes that matter to mitigate local risk, and the country’s business case for safer roads, visit the Vaccines for Roads Big Data Tool.

For more information:

A Thai language version of the media release can be downloaded here, and the fact sheet here.

Media coverage:

Contacts:

  • Chulalongkorn University: Associate Prof Kasem Choocharukul, PhD, Faculty of Engineering, email kasem.choo@chula.ac.th, tel +66 2218 6309, website https://www.eng.chula.ac.th/en/
  • iRAP: Judy Williams, Global Programme Manager, email judy.williams@irap.org, tel +61 400 782 200.

Top row: MOU Signing Ceremony at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 7 November 2018
Lower rows: A/Prof Kasem Choocharukul, Associate Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University and Rob McInerney, CEO, iRAP addressing media on ThaiRAP plans during Safety 2018 Conference, Bangkok on 6 November 2018

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iRAP Centre of Excellence – Faculty of Engineering Chulalongkorn University background

The Centre of Excellence partnership will see Chulalongkorn experts join peer organisations from UK, Australia, USA, Netherlands, Malaysia, China, Korea, Mexico and Brazil. Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University will also play a key global role on the Global Technical Committee that ensures the robust evidence base of the global star rating standard and other iRAP protocols is maintained. The local Thai research and evidence-base will also be available to shape the global programme and be shared with iRAP partners across more than 90 countries worldwide in a spirit of mutual support.

The Centre of Excellence partnership will ensure the training and accreditation of local experts and ensure that the application of road assessments across Thailand are completed to the high standard expected as part of the global programme. This will include building capacity with the local agencies and local integration with established road assessment activities and asset management practices within the agencies.

As a global charity, iRAP provides the global tools and systems for use worldwide in a free-to-air environment thanks to the generous donor support of the FIA Foundation. The charity encourages each country to build their own capacity and leadership of national programmes and partners with development agencies, philanthropies, research organisations and civil society to maximise the life-saving impact of the programme.

A plan for the establishment of the Thai Road Assessment Programme (ThaiRAP) as a self-governed, local led programme in partnership with other key agencies will be developed as part of the Centre of Excellence agreement. This will include discussions with key representatives from the Ministry of Transport, Department of Highways, Department of Rural Roads, Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, the University and other key stakeholders. For more details see Establishing a RAP programme in your country.

As demonstrated in Vaccines for Roads an estimated 500 million people will be killed and injured worldwide on the world’s roads between now and 2030 without a scale change in action worldwide. Working together to save lives and create a world free of high-risk roads is the shared vision of all iRAP partners worldwide.

For more details see www.irap.org and https://www.eng.chula.ac.th/en/

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