EASST to be part of Eastern Partnership Road Safety Observatory Secretariat

News, Road Safety Governance and Capacity Building

We are delighted to announce that we have been selected as part of a consortium along with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) to host the Regional Eastern Partnership Road Safety Observatory (EaPRSO) to be funded by the European Commission—DG NEAR, under the umbrella of the World Bank support to the Eastern Partnership Transport Panel (EaP).

Establishing this Observatory is a key element of the Eastern Partnership Declaration on Road Safety, endorsed in April 2018 in Ljubljana as well as one of the actions included in the Joint Declaration on the future Eastern Partnership transport cooperation adopted by the European Union and the Eastern Partner Countries in June 2019.

It is a joint initiative of different countries united with the common goal to advance fast and efficiently towards the eradication of road traffic fatal and non-fatal injuries and to do so by sharing good practices and interchanging data to help create a solid body of evidence-based practice. The Regional Observatory will house some country-level data, but more importantly, it will act as catalytic force to develop or strengthen national road safety observatories housing road safety data beyond that derived from crashes.

Countries included in the EaPRSO, which is due to launch in 2022, include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The average road crash fatality rate in the EaP Region is 8.28 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants. The EaP fatality rate is 49.3% higher than that of EU-27. Georgia has the highest fatality rate (12.11 fatalities/100,000 inhabitants), while the other countries’ fatality rates range between 6.91- 11.74 fatalities/100,000 inhabitants. The actual fatality rate for the region may be higher, given that the fatality rates for the individual countries have not been corrected for under-reporting.

As we enter the Second UN Decade of Action on Road Safety, which aims to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries by 50% by 2030, coordinated data collection and evidence-based decision making is critical. The EaPRSO can offer countries a number of benefits to help them achieve their own national targets, including:

  • Joint workshops to understand the steps required to implement certain legislation, adopt certain regulations, or learn how to benefit from ongoing international data collection,
  • More rigorous statistical analyses of data,
  • Better linkage between data, analyses and policy decision making,
  • Constructive comparative analyses (i.e., benchmarking) both between EaP countries and with other countries outside the EaP initiative,
  • More efficient police training to ensure both better data comparability and to facilitate continued training sessions of rotating professionals. This should be done using common online training tools to strengthen in person capacitation efforts,
  • Development of common methodology to evaluate enforcement of selected interventions, e.g., speed control,
  • Economics of scale in software development and/or acquisition, and
  • Use of EaP RRSO as an intermediary platform between country observatories and international organizations collecting road safety data, e.g., WHO.

EASST has wide experience of road safety programmes and effective implementation in each of the Eastern Partnership countries and beyond. In each member country EASST has a well-developed network of local partner organisations that have been working for more than a decade to raise the profile of road safety in public policy. This work has involved very close collaboration with key public and civil society stakeholders in each country, including ministries of transport, education and health, national and local road police authorities, municipalities and regional government entities. EASST’s work has encompassed projects across each key pillar of the UN Decade of Action Plan: road safety management (including the management of public and private fleets), safer road design, vehicle safety, road user safety (addressing key risks, road safety education and awareness, and effective enforcement), and improving post-crash response. We will bring all this experience with us into the new EaPRSO Technical Secretariat and look forward to working with ISET and our Georgian counterparts to improve road safety across the region.

The EaP Regional Road Safety Observatory joins existing regional observatories covering Asia-Pacific (APRSO), Africa (ARSO), European Union (ERSO), Western Balkans (WBRSO), Latin America (OISEVI), and the Middle East and North Africa (AIRSO).