Violence and Injury Prevention

Road safety in Turkey


The Global status report on road safety 2013 estimates that more than 8700 people are killed in road traffic crashes in Turkey every year. The majority of those killed are drivers and passengers of four-wheeled vehicles, although vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – account for nearly one-quarter of the deaths. Turkey is one of the countries included in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme which is being conducted over five years (2010-2014) by a consortium of international partners together with national governments and local organizations.

Turkey road safety project

The overall goal of Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme in Turkey is to support the Government of Turkey to implement good practices in road safety in order to reduce deaths and injuries. The focus of the project is on preventing speeding and increasing seat-belt wearing.

In the context of the project in Turkey, WHO assesses legislation and advises on possible improvements, develops social marketing campaigns and measures their impact, hosts workshops for journalists, and provides road safety equipment to local implementers. The Association for Safe International Road Travel supports NGOs in their advocacy efforts, the Global Road Safety Partnership trains the police on enforcement, and Johns Hopkins University, through its International Injury Research Unit, conducts monitoring and evaluation activities.

The project is being implemented in:

  • Ankara
  • Afyonkarahisar
  • Antalya
  • Kaeceli

The combined population of these focus cities is nearly 5 million people.

Key results

Between 2010 and 2013 rates of seat-belt wearing among all front-seat passengers have increased from around 4% in 2010 to around 50% in 2013 in Afyon and from around 21% to 35% in Ankara. The use of child restraints has tripled in Afyon during the same period.

WHO-supported activities


In 2011, WHO supported a comprehensive review of road traffic laws and regulation on speeding, seat-belt wearing and child restraint use and facilitated a technical workshop leading to specific recommendations for improvements.

While legislative and regulatory changes at the national level have been pending, WHO supported Governors’ action in project sites to issue Circulars to amend the seat-belt wearing laws at the local level, removing exclusions to seat-belt wearing for government employees and law enforcement officers. This amendment came into force initially in two project sites and later was applied across all six project sites. The impact of this political action by the Governors and the subsequent enforcement of the Circulars have served as a model for national legislative and regulatory improvements.

Social marketing

WHO produces evidence-based mass media campaigns after extensive research and testing conducted with target audiences. The following social marketing campaigns to prevent speeding and promote seat-belts have been developed and aired in Turkey.

Think About The Consequences. Slow Down Your Speed (2013)

Print ads and radio spots have also been developed and aired as part of this campaign.

Life Has The Right Of Way Over Time (2011)

Print ads and radio spots have also been developed and aired as part of this campaign.

One Life Ends, Thousands End (2011)

Print ads and radio spots have also been developed and aired as part of this campaign.

Working with the media

Media reporting on road safety is an important mechanism for raising awareness among the general public and promoting specific policy changes by policy-makers. In November 2011 WHO organized a workshop, in both Ankara and Afyonkarahisar, on general road safety concepts which was attended by 20 journalists.


Dr Serap Şener
WHO Turkey