EASST partner, the Automobile Club of Moldova (ACM) has recently received data from the National Patrolling Inspectorate that shows, in the first seven months of 2016, the number of registered road traffic collisions in Moldova involving taxis has doubled compared to the same period last year, resulting in two deaths and 32 traumas.

While, an investigative survey of 1000 taxis in Chisinau conducted by the ACM and local police found that only 65% of taxis in the city are equipped with passenger seat belts and, that out of 157 taxis inspected only 5% carry children’s restraints.

Accordingly, on 24th August, the ACM and the National Patrolling Inspectorate held a joint meeting with representatives and directors of taxi companies in the Moldovan capital as part of the, ‘Seat Belt Advocacy in Chisinau’ campaign, supported by EASST.

The main aims of the campaign include:

  • Increasing the number of the taxis equipped with passenger seat belts
  • Increasing the use of passenger seat belts and child restraints in taxis
  • Improving taxi drivers’ and fleet managers’ responsibility for passengers
During the meeting, participants discussed issues related to safe driving, seat belts, child restraints, and any necessary measures to increase the safety of taxi services in Chisinau. The participants supported a proposal for better collaboration amongst taxi companies, local authorities and the police, to motivate and support them in improving efforts to develop and implement road safety policies and ensure the use of seat belts and child restraints.

All participants were also given the opportunity to test a ‘seat belt slide’, donated by the FIA Foundation and EASST, which simulates a frontal collision at the speed of 12-15 km/h, in order to raise better awareness of the effects of a collision and the importance of seat belts.

As a result of the meeting, taxi companies in Chisinau have been given a month to improve driving behaviours and install passenger seat belts and child restraints in their fleets.

Over the next few months, the ACM and the National Patrol Inspectorate will continue to arrange meetings and actions to raise awareness and ensure a continuous exchange of information and experience between involved stakeholders, as well as holding a contest amongst participating taxi companies to identify the best taxi driver and the safest taxi fleet in the capital. The National Patrol Inspectorate will also organise a series of special actions on the roads for monitoring and sanctioning violations registered, all with the aim of increasing the safety of taxi services in Chisinau.