Road crash data for 2012-2014 just released by the Municipal Transport Department of Moldova’s capital city, Chisinau, shows how effective local partnership can reduce road injuries and fatalities across all modes of public transport. Annual data for 2012 and 2013 shows:

  • a 49% decrease in accidents on public road transport
  • an 86% reduction in fatalities
  • a 52% reduction in injuries.

Data for the first 7 months of 2014 shows a continuing strong decline in casualties. If present trends continue, overall road incidents on Chisinau public transport will see a 65% decrease compared with 2012 and a 31% decrease compared to 2013.

In November 2012 the Automobile Club of Moldova, working with EASST and the Kent & Medway Casualty Reduction Partnership, organized a seminar sharing experience with the Chisinau and Tiraspol municipalities on how to reduce road deaths through effective local partnerships. The project, funded by the European Union and co-funded by the United Nations Development Programme, brought experts from the UK and EASST partners from Georgia and Armenia to Moldova to assist the Moldovan municipalities in setting up and developing local road safety partnerships. The Chisinau partnership has flourished, bringing together all public transport providers to develop a local casualty reduction strategy.

In February 2013, supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and EASST Ambassador Alex Wurz, EASST and the ACM launched a ‘Safe Driving for Life’ Campaign to encourage specific road safety management among public and private sector fleets. Local participants included representatives from the City and Central Governments, regulatory authorities, drivers and managers of public transport fleets and vehicles (trolley buses, buses and maxi-taxis). Following the seminar, local participants created a new Working Party on ‘Safe Driving for Life’ with its first meeting in March 2013.

In December 2013, sponsored by the EBRD and EASST, a Study Tour was organized for the Group to build a deeper understanding of effective fleet road safety management. The Study Tour participants included Lilian Copaci, Chief of the Transport Management Department in the Chisinau Transport Department, Gheorghe Morgoci, Director of ­ the Chisinau Trolley Bus Company, Marcel Lupanciuc, Deputy Director of Service Operations for the Chisinau Bus Company, Nicolae Seredneac, Director of Autorapid SRL, the largest Chisinau maxi taxi company, Dan Chirita, Chief of the General Police Inspectorate of Moldova and Liuba Popa, Transport Manager for Gas Natural Fenosa (a natural gas retailer).

Members of the Chisinau Working Group with GoAhead Buses in London

The Working Group gained insights into road safety management from Shell, GoAhead Buses, Transport for London,, Kent Highways, Amey and the Metropolitan Police. In the words of Lilian Copaci of Chisinau Municipality:

“We all have gained new knowledge and experiences in the management of road safety and public transport that we are ready to implement here in Moldova step by step, starting within our established working group and our companies we represent.”

Fenosa have taken impressive steps to reduce road incidents among their drivers, including training by the ACM on Occupational Road Safety. The current statistics are the first evidence of the real progress being made in road safety management within Chisinau public transport fleets.

Despite the progress made, there is still much work to be done to reduce road casualties across all types of local transport, in particular taxis and some maxi-taxi companies. As underlined by the Chisinau Muncipality:

“In comparison to minibuses and taxis, trolleybuses and buses can be considered the safest way to circulate, as no fatal cases were recorded. This constant decrease is a result of the common work conducted by the authorities with local police and NGOs. Drivers tend to be more responsible and are afraid of fees and penalties. Still, there is a lot of work to do to educate the minibus drivers who drive in a dangerous manner. The goal is to inform them properly about the dangers, risk and challenges on the roads, as well as, to make harsher the requirements for the potential minibus drivers.” Chisinau Municipal Transport Department

A link to the full data can be seen here: Road Crash Statistics