In May 2013, a major project was launched in Ukraine supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST), EASST partner the Road Safety Support Foundation, and the State Road Police Department of Ukraine. Titled ‘Safe Villages’, the project is aimed at reducing the number of road casualties among the villages bordering the M06 Kyiv-Chop highway and road corridor.
The campaign is launched in the village of Berezivka situated along the M06 road
The ‘Safe Villages’ project was launched following the occurrence of several terrible crashes along the M06 highway involving local pedestrians and farm vehicles. Many villagers are engaged in agriculture and other small businesses employing horse carts and non-motorized vehicles, and are often forced to use the highways to conduct their daily work – putting them at risk of road injury or death.
EASST’s Regional Coordinator Dmitry Sambuk talks to villagers in Berezivka
In addition, the population inhabiting these villages is made up disproportionately of children under age 15 and pensioners. With this in mind, the ‘Safe Villages’ project includes: an information campaign on the importance of visibility; working with the police and local authorities to reduce speeds; conducting training with children and parents on safe routes to school; and donating high-visibility equipment and clothing to local people.
EASST partners Oksana Romanukha and Yegor Kalashnikov of Road Safety Support Foundation launched the project in close cooperation with the State Road Police
On 21st and 23rd May 2013, two round tables were held in Zhytomyr and Lviv in order to discuss road safety issues such as poor visibility, pedestrian safety, road safety education, and other key issues.
EASST’s Armenian partner Poghos Shahinyan (second from left) joined the project as an international road safety expert sharing the Armenian experience
On 22nd and 23rd May, working visits and meetings with local communities were held in the villages of Ivanivka, Berezivka and Solonka – situated along the M06 road where a high level of casualties have occurred. The Road Safety Support Foundation and EASST team met with local schoolchildren and their parents, teachers and horse cart drivers. High visibility materials – vests, bracelets, flickers – were produced for all target groups and disseminated locally. National and international road safety experts, road police officers and representatives of local authorities took part in the project events.
In Zhytomyr Oksana Romanukha of Road Safety Support Foundation informs the media of the project’s aims
The project, which has now completed its first phase, received much positive media attention viewable here:
High visibility materials were distributed along the Mo6 road
The Safe Villages project continues with selection of further villages and cities along the Mo6 road where similar events will take place.