The government of Tajikistan has taken a major step towards the development of a national road safety strategy for the country, following their commitment to reducing road casualties under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Road Safety Strategy endorsed in October 2016. The strategy aims to reduce number of road crash fatalities on the CAREC road corridors by 50% by 2030, saving some 23,000 lives and preventing 250,000 serious injuries annually.
Around 70 participants from the government, private sector, civil society organizations, academia and development partners discussed a framework and priority actions of a Tajikistan national strategy on reducing road crash deaths and injuries during a workshop organized by the Ministry of Transport with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 25-26 April in Dushanbe.
The discussions focused on safer road infrastructure, vehicles, and road users, as well as post-crash care and road safety management. EASST Director Emma MacLennan joined key experts Ian Hughes and Phillip Jordan to assist in guiding the discussions and providing answers to any questions raised by participants.
“In making a commitment to road safety, Tajikistan is investing in a safer and more prosperous future,” said Kamel Bouhmad, Transport Specialist at ADB’s Central and West Asia Regional Department. Road crashes have significant social and economic costs, representing about $350 million annually for Tajikistan.
This year, Tajikistan chairs the CAREC program, which promotes project-based cooperation in transport, energy, trade facilitation, and trade policy. The CAREC partnership comprises Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — and six multilateral institutions. The ADB has served as the CAREC Secretariat since 2001, and steered the regional road safety strategy to its unanimous endorsement by member countries last October. The next steps are to put national policies into place.
To assist this, EASST – with the support of the ADB and EBRD – has helped to conduct special training in road safety engineering for Ministry of Transport, Police and other government experts in Dushanbe. The objective was to provide an opportunity for professionals to gain an awareness of the fundamental issues in road safety engineering, emphasising the proactive process of road safety audit and the reactive process of blackspot investigations. The training was carried out by Phillip Jordan – the author of the Road Safety Audit Guidelines for Armenia developed with the involvement of EASST partner Poghos Shahinyan of the National Road Safety Council of Armenia – and Matt Chamberlain of EASST Expertise. The trainees were very engaged and eager for more. A further training workshop will take place in late June/early July with the objective of improving safe road design and road safety assessment. More information to follow!