Georgia’s unsafe roads are one of the most urgent public health problems facing the country. Last year alone, 605 people were killed in traffic accidents, with an additional 7734 persons injured. Traffic accidents are a top five cause of death in Georgia and they are the leading cause of death among youth aged 5 to 29.
In order to combat this, EASST’s Georgian partner the Partnership for Road Safety have united with Elva Community Engagement to launch an innovative citizen engagement project titled “Friendly Roads”, with support of the East West Management Institute and USAID. The project will allow citizens throughout all regions of Georgia to report hazardous traffic infrastructure and traffic accidents in their neighbourhood using SMS and a website tool. On the website all the citizen reports will be shown on an interactive map together with official data on traffic accidents in order to create the first publicly accessible overview of traffic hazards in Georgia.
The project will encourage safe driving behaviour and will allow citizens to easily report and spot the most dangerous traffic infrastructure (the so-called “black spots”) in their neighbourhood and commuting routes. Using this accessible overview of hazardous traffic infrastructure, the campaign will work towards influencing decision makers at local and national levels to take evidence-based and targeted action to prevent further accidents using citizen reporting and resolving black spots. The website www.megobruligzebi.ge will be launched in the coming weeks.
On 19th August 2013, Gela Kvashilava of Road Safety Support Foundation was interviewed by Radio Free Europe about the project:
This project is made possible by the generous support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).