Road Safety is currently very high on the political agenda in Kyrgyzstan following a spate of fatal road traffic collisions in the capital Bishkek earlier this year. On average there are at least 2-3 road deaths every day in Kyrgyzstan, a toll which is having a significant impact on the country’s economic and social development.
To focus political attention on this growing public health crisis, therefore, and to find viable long-term solutions, EASST partner, Road Safety Kyrgyzstan joined up with the political party ‘Onuguu Progress’ on 23rd June to host a National Forum on Road Safety. Testament to the seriousness of the problem, the Forum was attended by high-level representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Health as well as representatives from the Bishkek Mayor’s office, the association of driving schools and civil society organisations.
The Forum covered a range of issues, and concluded with a broad set of recommendations, including:
- Urgent measures to improve road safety, with a specific focus on children’s safety
- Setting specific targets by which to reduce fatality and injury rates
- Conducting a legislative review of current road safety legislation, and increasing penalties for traffic violations – particularly those that result in a fatality
- Conducting a thorough road safety audit across the country
- Introducing stronger procedures to regulate the issuance of driving licenses and car registrations
- Establishing Bishkek, and other cities in Kyrgyzstan, as ‘Safe Cities’
These recommendations, and others, will be formulated into a formal Resolution to be adopted by a multi-stakeholder working group which, when implemented, will have a significant impact on improving road safety and reducing the high casualty rate caused by road traffic collisions in Kyrgyzstan.