New police actions for tackling drink-driving and speeding in Moldova
At the end of December, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection along with EASST partner, the Automobile Club of Moldova (ACM), and the WHO Country office in Moldova organised a national policy dialogue on road safety.
The aim of the high-level meeting – which included over 60 delegates representing the National Road Safety Council; Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure; Ministry of Education, Culture and Research; National Patrolling Inspectorate; General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations; State Road Administration; Agency of Public Services; ambulance services and public health centers; driving schools; NGOs, and others – was to discuss the most serious road safety issues in Moldova and identify solutions to reduce the number of road casualties.
Among the key issues raised were speeding and drink-driving: the two leading causes of road traffic crashes in the country. It is estimated that around a quarter of road traffic crashes in Moldova are caused by speeding while in 2019 drink-driving caused over 250 crashes and resulted in 32 people losing their lives.
In light of these statistics was agreed that urgent action was required and the meeting concluded in the development of a new set of actions aimed at strengthening road safety by focusing on these two risk factors. The National Road Safety Council will now formally present the proposed actions to the Prime Minister for endorsement at the national level.
The meeting itself drew huge media attention, putting the spotlight on road safety and the necessity for urgent action. This is particularly relevant as Moldova prepares its new National Road Safety Strategy for the next decade. It is hoped that the proposed actions will be included within the upcoming National Road Safety Action Plan, which will be promoted by the ACM and the Traffic Police in the coming months.
Following this meeting, the National Patrolling Inspectorate and the ACM – with the support of the WHO Country office in Moldova – also organised a two-day training programme for police officers focusing on road crash prevention in local areas. The training explored the best ways in which to approach drivers and which messages are most powerful for encouraging them to drive more safely. During the training, the patrol officers planned out a five-month programme of road safety education and awareness activities that they will take across the country. They plan to use locally relevant and tailored materials, including the EASST Road Safety Education Pack, to address the issues most common to each area. This pilot will be reviewed in May, when a further action plan will be developed. The aim is to make road safety prevention an integral part of community policing to reduce road casualties in Moldova on a permanent basis.