The road safety situation in the Kyrgyz Republic requires serious attention. Based on the Asian Development Bank formula for costing road casualties, the scale of death and injury on the roads of Kyrgyzstan cost the economy around $250 million in 2011, or 4.3% of GDP. At 2,190 deaths per million vehicles the road safety problem in the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the worst in the world. The primary victims of crashes in the Kyrgyz Republic are pedestrians, who account for 44% of crashes and 34.5% of deaths – among the highest proportions in the UNECE area.

EASST is therefore proud to support the only NGO in Kyrgyzstan focusing their work on road safety. With EASST support ‘Road Safety NGO‘ and its Director, Chinara Kasmambetova, have launched a variety of projects and campaigns in order to raise awareness of this pressing issue. A new focus for Chinara and Road Safety NGO this year has been to address road safety for those who are visually impaired and blind – whose ability to cross the road safely without harm is being jeopardized by the reckless behaviour of drivers who do not adhere to the rules of the road.

Chinara Kasmambetova with students

With this in mind, the project ‘Support for Adult Blinds’ has been launched via the Public Fund ‘Inclusive Education’ with the first event taking place on 2nd October 2014. Chinara held a meeting with students who are visually impaired and blind to discuss how they travel in the capital, the use of public transport, and road crossing.

The group highlighted a number of measures that would make their travel safer and easier, such as public transport drivers announcing bus numbers.

Further meetings and activities will take place to address this issue.