The second UN Global Road Safety Week took place from 6-12 May 2013 with activities taking place across the world to draw attention to the urgent need to better protect pedestrians.

EASST’s Moldovan partner, the Automobile Club of Moldova (ACM), carried out a series of events in aid of Global Road Safety Week including the key event of the week – the Long Short Walk, initiated by the Make Roads Safe Campaign. Their activties were well-attended by national and international organizations, public figures, celebrities, politicians, sportsmen, the media, and other representatives.

Pupils take part in Moldova’s Long Short Walk

Approximately 100 pupils from the Universul Lyceum with their teachers and the ACM team took part in Moldova’s Long Short Walk in order to promote road safety for children and safe areas near the school (pictured above). The Long Short Walk campaigns for the rights of pedestrians and children on the road to be recognized and urges greater investment in safe footpaths, cycle-ways and crossing points, on streets with lower speed limits, especially around schools.

Children painted the words “Stop! Look! Listen!” in front of pedestrian crossings

Representatives of the World Health Organization office in Moldova, the Ministry of Health and the National Patrol Inspectorate also walked to campaign for better roads and pedestrian safety.

Representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the ACM

During the Europe Day celebrations in the capital Chisinau, the ACM team encouraged politicians and representatives of international organizations to show their support for road safety and the UN Decade of Action by signing banners highlighting areas they would like to see improved.

Iurie Leancă, Prime Minister of Moldova, with Tatiana Mihailova of the ACM

A similar event took place in Tiraspol, where Automobile Club of Transnistria together with UNDP and ACM carried out road safety actions.

Marian Lupu, former President of Moldova, with Virginia of the ACM

Sportsmen also expressed their support of the ACM and Global Road Safety Week. Racing drivers who participated in the National Championship Auto Slalom on 18 May 2013 signed placards and met with the ACM team.

Racing drivers support the campaign

As a way of raising awareness of the risk to disabled children on the roads, the comedian and writer Tony Hawks and the British Ambassador to Moldova HE Phil Batson presented reflective tags to children at the Tony Hawks Centre. 100 owl shaped reflective tags, donated by the World Health Organisation, were given to children from the Centre to wear, helping to make them more visible – particularly at night – when crossing the road.

Tony Hawks, HE Phil Batson and the ACM team present road safety gifts to the children

In addition, two traffic grounds for children were launched in Chisinau – the first of their kind in Moldova. The grounds were created to teach children how to respect the roads both as pedestrians and cyclists. The joint project, involving the Estonian Police (Southern Prefecture), Southern Schooling Foundation, National Patrol Inspectorate and Automobile Club of Moldova, was opened by the Minister of Internal Affairs Dorin Recean.

Minister of Internal Affairs Dorin Recean opens one of the new grounds

In his opening speech Mr. Recean said: “The new generation is lucky to be able to enjoy this opportunity to learn safe road behaviour and responsibility for their actions. When using the roads, paying attention and showing respect to others are attitudes that save lives.”