Improving school zone road safety in Mongolia
In October, EASST implemented a short project with local NGO GerHub in Mongolia to improve road safety at the Hugjil Complex School in the Ger district of Ulaanbaatar and use the experience to develop a blueprint for other schools in the area to implement their own road safety projects.
The project, which has been community led, concluded with an unveiling of new infrastructure work around the school, including a new pedestrian crossing, new road signs, a dedicated ‘kiss and drop’ zone, and barriers to protect pedestrians from road traffic.
The Hugjil Complex School has about 4,000 students from elementary to middle school. Every day there are mass movements of children to and from school, many unaccompanied by adults. The project team identified that the road in front of the school had many child pedestrians and chaotic parking. It was wide enough for two cars, but one lane was blocked by parking. There were no school or speed limit signs, no painted road markings, and no formal crossing points.
The project team along with a Working Group made up of school leadership personnel, local authorities, traffic police, parents, young people, and community representatives used the EASST School Zone Assessment Toolkit, which has been translated into Mongolian, to assess key routes and areas around the school and co-produce an Action Plan to address the key risk areas.
The Action Plan focused on addressing some of the key infrastructure issues around the main school entrance as well as seeking to increase road safety awareness and build capacity of the current ‘School Police’ patrols.
The community came together with the Road Police on 29th October for a “Street Makeover” where new infrastructure was installed. The school has also been given translated copies of the EASST Road Safety Education Pack and guidance for delivering age-appropriate learning to empower the children and make sure they are aware of the risks on the roads around their school.
In addition to ensuring a safer journey for the children at the Hugjil Complex School, this project has sought to provide a blueprint for other schools in Mongolia to implement their own road safety projects. A Toolkit has been developed with a step-by-step guide to the project stages and links to key resources to assist with implementation of similar projects. It aims to complement planned upgrade works around schools and connect the safe behaviours of children and others with the inherent risks present in the road system.