On 1st July EASST’s Director, Emma MacLennan, joined the International Road Federation, Global NCAP and others at the University of Birmingham to give a lecture on the importance and practicalities of establishing partnerships in road safety to this year’s Senior Road Executives (SRE) programme.

Why is partnership important?

Emma talked about partnership as a sign of good governance and ‘joined-up’ policy-making, highlighting that when partnership is missing, road safety policy lacks direction.

The six dimensions of good governance as defined by the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicator Project (WGI) include:

  • Voice and accountability
  • Political stability and the absence of violence
  • Government effectiveness
  • Regulatory quality
  • Rule of law
  • Control of corruption

Ignoring any of these dimensions can have a significant impact on road safety policy and enforcement, leading to issues such as roads being built straight through villages (with no crossings!), cronyism, a lack of trust in road police, heavy and arbitrary bureaucracy, poorly constructed roads, and much more.

Partnerships, however, can help combat bad governance in three key ways:

  1. Through sharing knowledge and information, agencies and organisations can embarrass governments or agencies into action, build coalitions of support, promote greater transparency and help implement improvements.
  2. Recruiting a powerful road safety champion can be a catalyst for legal or institutional reform whilst also capturing public attention and helping to obtain the resources needed for change.
  3. Pooling resources and skills for campaigns and media attention can attract political support, shed light on important issues and build momentum for reform.

Six key reasons why partnership is important

Effective local partnerships

Casualty reduction works best when there is ‘joined-up’ local planning between key stakeholders, including local government, police, ambulance services, fire & rescue, education authorities and community stakeholders.

The Kent & Medway Casualty Reduction (CaRe) Group is an example of one local partnership whose aims include reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on the road, educating motorists about road safety, ensuring roads are safe and deliver sustainable solutions and empowering local people to take responsibility.

The CaRe Group’s Community Speed Watch has enabled groups of concerned citizens to reduce excessive vehicle speeds on their roads by allowing members to monitor the speed of passing vehicles using portable speed indication devices, with those found repeatedly or excessively speeding being sent a warning letter and advice by Kent Police.

EASST – Working Together to Save Lives

EASST has been working in Moldova to establish partnerships between fleet managers and public transport providers to help reduce casualties on the road. With EBRD support, we have delivered training for fleet managers and helped establish a new Working Party on Occupational Road Safety Management. While, our work with public transport providers has seen a 48% decline in serious road collisions, 85% decline in deaths, 53% decline in injuries and costs cut by 50%. Read more about these initiatives here.

It is equally important to consult with local communities both before and after road projects. In Ukraine, through partnerships with people, EASST and its local partners have been able to tackle problems of visibility on the roads, and lack of local awareness of road safety and impact of road schemes.

Our ‘Safe Villages’ projects have sought to address the needs of the most vulnerable villagers living along major road corridors. Local partners have been working with drivers to raise awareness and reduce speeds, police to improve enforcement, road engineers to ensure that road designs are safe and sustainable, and local people to make their communities safer!

Partnership Networks

EASST is a partnership of active local road safety organisations, working in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus.  As part of a partnership network you can:

  • Build capacity
  • Share experience and best practice
  • Share resources and materials
  • Coordinate strategies
  • Facilitate cross-border and regional projects
  • Assist communication

The SRE programme addresses the main building-blocks which are vital for the sustainable development of the road sector, namely:

  • Establishing responsibility through regulatory and institutional reform
  • Providing adequate, stable and continuous financing though innovative mechanisms
  • Introducing modern concepts of procurement together with anti-corruption measures
  • Applying fundamental asset management principles and appropriate technology for road maintenance
  • Identifying appropriate policies, strategies, plans and countermeasures to improve road safety