The tremendous work of EASST’s Georgian partner, the Foundation ‘Partnership for Road Safety’ has been recognised. The Partnership has been awarded a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in recognition of its significant impact on the road safety situation in Georgia.
The Partnership for Road Safety is a non-profit organization that promotes road safety through education and advocacy in Georgia. The goal of the Partnership is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on Georgian roads. During the last seven years, it has successfully established partnerships with the government, private sector, civil society, and media. The organization has played a key role in the improvement of road safety legislation and the development of a road safety culture in Georgia.
Its efforts have contributed to a measurable reduction in road fatalities and impressive increases in the use of seat belts and other protections. In June 2011, as a result of a new law, 98% of drivers and 97% of front passengers on the highways were recorded using seat belts. In the capital city Tbilisi, the figure rose to 95% compared to just 1% previously. This has contributed to the decline of fatalities in Georgia from 867 in 2008 to 526 in 2011.
HRH Prince Michael of Kent presents the award to Gela Kvashilava (left) and Irakli Izoria (right) in London, July 2013
Other successful activities which have been inspired by the Partnership include the introduction of a nationwide road safety education programme in Georgia, the establishment of the first Road Safety Centre for children in the region, and implementation of the project ‘Initiation of an Auto Fuel Efficiency Program in Georgia & Development of the Caucasus Fuel Economy Initiative’ to address auto fuel economy in the South Caucasus region.
Talking about the achievement, EASST’s Director Emma MacLennan said:
“EASST is very proud of the work of the Georgian Partnership for Road Safety. They have set a high standard for raising road safety awareness and implementing change on a national level. Their Founder, Gela Kvashilava, has also done much to promote better road safety practice in other EASST countries, particularly assisting with police reform in Moldova and pedestrian visibility campaigns in Kyrgyzstan. We welcome this well-deserved award.”
As part of the EASST network, the PfRS regularly shares materials and best practice with EASST partners in Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The Automobile Club of Moldova’s Project Manager, Tatiana Mihailova, commented on her relationship with the Partnership for Road Safety:
“The Partnership for Road Safety in Georgia is a good example for the Automobile Club of Moldova (ACM) in promoting road safety and conducting qualitative researches and educational campaigns. Throughout several years the cooperation between the Partnership and ACM has been very productive and efficient. Thus the Partnership for Road Safety shared its experience and expertise to the “UK/Georgia/Moldova Road Police Exchange Programme” as well as shared its video materials that were helpful in education campaigns on road safety in Moldova. We believe the Partnership deserves a high level appreciation and hope to maintain the successful and friendly collaboration between our organizations.”
The PfRS has succeeded in gaining financial support for its activities from BP, USAID, the FIA Foundation, EASST, local government, business and individual sponsors. The Partnership’s work is acknowledged by Tamara Bokuchava of the Georgian Public Broadcaster:
“We believe that PfRs is doing its outmost to support Georgia’s social uplift and democratic developments on road safety procedures. One of main successes of the PfRS has been to generate political will and broad support to make roads safe in Georgia – demonstrated by the involvement and support of the First Lady of Georgia and government ministers. After six years of intensive work and the building of relationships with stakeholders, the PfRS has put road safety on the agenda of the government and media.”
The Partnership’s Prince Michael Road Safety Award was presented in July 2013 in London to Gela Kvashilava and Irakli Izoria, following announcement of the award in December 2012. EASST is extremely proud of its Georgian partner and continues to support the excellent work of the PfRS. For more information about their activities please visit their website: www.safedrive.ge