New school year sees push for safer roads in Bishkek

Children's Road Safety, Kyrgyzstan

For many people, the new school year means more traffic and more children on the roads. With this, comes increased road risk for children so it’s important to be aware of where schools are located, and which routes children are most likely to take as they walk to and from school.

A report published earlier this year revealed that out of 570 people killed or injured on the roads in Bishkek in 2017 more than 48% were pedestrians and 22% were children under the age of 16.

Therefore, in Bishkek, our EASST partners, Road Safety, have started the school year with a push to make roads safer for children. As part of their project with the Soros Foundation, which aims to make roads safer for local communities, they have installed new high-viz pedestrian crossing signs in the Sverdlovsk and Leninsky regions of the city.

The new signs, with reflective edges will enable drivers to see in advance a pedestrian crossing, and slow down to allow people to cross safely.

In addition to the new road signs, Road Safety have also visited a local school to train the children there, and the teachers, about the importance of road safety, reducing road risk for children, and what actions children can take to keep safe.

The special assembly, attended by over 300 children, used examples from the EASST Road Safety Education Pack to emphasise the importance of good road behaviour – both inside and outside the car – and how choosing the right behaviour not only protects oneself but others as well. Teachers were given copies of the Education Pack to use in their own road safety lessons, and letters were issued to parents, reinforcing to them importance of road safety and setting a good example for their kids.

Since 2017 and a sad spate of road traffic fatalities, the authorities in Kyrgyzstan have been paying more and more attention to improving road safety in the country. Here’s hoping this new energy can help save lives!