Posted in Legislative Analysis, Political Institutions on Sep 12, 2019

This bill aims to reduce the rate of accidents and damages caused by motor vehicles, and to ease the way for road users.

Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020

As a consequence of road traffic collisions, 1.3 million people die every year in the world: more than 3,000 deaths per day. 20 to 50 million people a year also suffer non-fatal injuries and this is a major cause of disability worldwide. Ninety percent of road traffic deaths happen in low and middle-income countries.

Without management of the risks, deaths related to road traffic could become ranked number five in causes of fatality, and it is predicted could claim 2.4 million lives each year. The issue also harms countries’ economies: according to the statistics of United Nations (UN), it costs from 1% to 3% GNP of respective countries.

In recognition of the seriousness of this issue, the UN set a Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety, 2011-2020. There are five pillars in the plan – road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users, and post-crash response.

Myanmar Road Safety Action Plan 2014-2020

Myanmar also announced Myanmar Road Safety Action Plan 2014-2020 in 2014, and the plan will be implemented by the National Road Safety Council and its regional committees. The objectives of the plan are to:

  • halve the number of total fatalities;
  • reduce the fatality rate per 10,000 people by 50%;
  • achieve a 90% motorcycle-helmet-wearing rate;
  • achieve a 70% seat-belt-wearing rate, and;
  • eliminate illegal driving (i.e., without a driver’s licence).

Current situation

In Myanmar, in 2014 4,300 lives were claimed by our roads, double the number recorded in 2009. According to reports from hospitals, one third of injuries are from traffic accidents. The number is not comparatively high for Southeast Asian countries (SEA), in part due to the relatively low level of vehicle use in Myanmar. However, under-reporting is likely to be a significant factor. It is estimated that the true number may be between 6200 and 8200 each year. It is further estimated that the rate will double in 2020, and if steps are not taken to improve safety, fatalities may rocket to 15,000 in 2025.

In respect of five pillars set by the UN, progress is slow compared with other SEA countries. The progress was the middle in the pillars of road safety management, safer roads and mobility, and post-crash response, and in safer vehicles, safer road users, Myanmar was being the lowest. This shows that Myanmar needs to improve the safety of the vehicles and the behavior of road users. (ASEAN Regional Road Safety Strategy 2016)

Legal framework

Myanmar had a Motor Vehicle Law 1964, later replaced by The Motor Vehicle Law 2015. Currently, a Motor Vehicle Safety and Management Bill is to be discussed in the Hluttaw, and if the bill is approved, will replace the existing 2015 law.

The most obvious change of the bill is the name, and instead of the motor vehicle law, it is named after Motor Vehicle Safety and Management Bill. Likewise, it can be seen that the bill aims to prioritise the reduction of accident rates and road safety.

Moreover, the bill removes the clause relating to the importation, manufacturing, selling and installation of a motor vehicle from the 2015 law. The automotive policy launched in the middle of this year could be assumed to frame that sector with separate procedures or regulations. Another point is that the bill incorporates third parties composed of technical personnel to inspect motor vehicle inspection businesses.


Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020

ASEAN Regional Road Safety Strategy

Myanmar Transport Sector Policy Note: Road Safety