The Ukrainian Traffic Police reports that between 200,000 and 220,000 road traffic collisions take place each year in Ukraine. A third of those involve injury and resulted in over 5,000 fatalities over the past year – almost a 10% increase compared to the previous period. This was announced by Serhiy Budnik, Deputy Head of the Department of State Automobile Inspection of Ukraine and Head of the Organizing Committee of the National Forum for Road Safety, at the opening ceremony of the major road safety forum on Thursday 24 July 2014.

The major road safety event – over-attended by delegates and key stakeholders – was organised with support from the State Automobile Inspection of Ukraine and EASST’s Ukrainian partner Road Safety Support Foundation. The National Forum for Road Safety brought together major road safety stakeholders to analyze and discuss road safety challenges and solutions in Ukraine.

“The main goal of the event is to bring road safety legislation to European standards, and to consider new approaches and methods of accident prevention,” Serhiy Budnik stated. Stakeholder representatives, such as national ministries, services and agencies, NGOs and media, discussed initiatives and proposals for improving the overall situation on the national roads. These stakeholders will go forward to make proposals to reforms in road safety management in Ukraine.

“General training for road users, health care for both drivers and pedestrians, road infrastructure requirements and their interrelation with accidents are among the main and actively discussed issues. The key role of media in promoting safer road users behaviour is to be discussed as well,” stated Budnik.

Key to the event was the preparation of a draft law by forum participants with the aim to improve road safety in accordance with EU standards. The law will be presented for public debate and it’s hoped that it will be passed by the Parliament in autumn.

The issue of technical equipment used by the traffic police was also raised as a key priority to improving road safety. The forum delegates also heard from Mykola Kvitka of the Ministry of Health and Vitaliy Voronin, Deputy Chairman of Road Safety Support Foundation, who raised issues such as road safety education, the role of the media, and behavioural patterns of pedestrians and drivers.