New policing measures introduced to reduce road death and injury in Armenia
In July last year, regional cooperation and coordinated efforts to reach UN road safety targets were the main focus of an Eastern Partnership Transport Panel Road Safety Workshop in Brussels, organised by the European Commission and World Bank.
Road safety in each of the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) is a significant public health issue. On average the number of road traffic deaths in the region is three times higher than in Western Europe, despite smaller vehicle fleets.
EASST partner Poghos Shahinyan, Head of the Armenian National Road Safety Council, attended the workshop as part the Armenian delegation where four working groups were established covering Road Safety Management; Speed Management; Enforcement; and Technical Standards. Within each group, a set of recommendations were developed and presented to ministers for review.
Last week saw the second meeting of the panel in Tbilisi where Poghos was appointed as a coordinator of road safety actions within Armenia. He is already making progress locally, having met with the Head of the Road Police of Armenia and agreed some impressive first steps including:
- The trial of a speed reduction programme in Yerevan. This will involve reducing the maximum speed limit in one Yerevan district from 60km/h to 50km/h. If successful in proving a reduction in crashes, this will be rolled out further.
- All police cars being equipped with GPS by the end of 2018 in order to better monitor activity and gather data.
- A review of road traffic crash data in order to meet the CADAS data collection requirements accepted by EU member states.
- The possibility of hosting joint-activities on public awareness and road safety education.
Effective road policing is essential to protect the public from dangers such as speeding, drink-driving and non-use of seat belts, all of which are key factors contributing to road deaths and injuries globally. Good enforcement and positive policing are also vital for identifying local risks, monitoring progress and encouraging safe road use.