PA Road Safety Kyrgyzstan receive Prince Michael International Road Safety Award

Kyrgyzstan, News, Road Safety Governance and Capacity Building

We’re delighted to announce that our EASST partners PA Road Safety have been awarded a 2018 Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.

The award recognises PA Road Safety’s work as the first and only non–governmental organisation in the Kyrgyz Republic working in road safety. It commends, in particular, their work to investigate, highlight and recommend measures to improve pedestrian safety in Bishkek – an initiative supported by the British Embassy in Bishkek.

The project involved close collaboration with the local authorities – most importantly the City Road Police and local Mayor’s office – to collect, analyze and share data on pedestrian casualties in Bishkek with a view to developing evidence-based policies on pedestrian safety.

Working closely with the Road Police on a day-to-day basis, PA Road Safety collated and analysed data on pedestrian death and injury for the first time. Specific research was then conducted on pedestrian flows at the 5 most dangerous sites. 18,998 observations of where pedestrians cross at these points (e.g., at the zebra or ‘illegally’), and a small sample survey of 200 people were carried out to understand why some people cross at the ‘wrong’ place.

The final published report, Pedestrian Safety in Bishkek’s Smart City Concept, 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. Around half of those surveyed (98 of 200) felt unsafe when crossing the road. Interactive maps were created to highlight pedestrian black spots for use by policy makers (an innovation for Kyrgyzstan), and detailed recommendations for improving the most dangerous pedestrian crossings.

The report’s launch was the first time pedestrian safety issues and people-centered city design were discussed in Kyrgyzstan and has led to a high-level commitment to change.

At the conclusion of the project EASST Director Emma MacLennan, Chinara Kasmambetova of PA Road Safety and the UK Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan held a series of top-level meetings with Prime Minister Sapar Isakov, Bishkek Mayor Albek Ibraimov and the Head of the Republican Traffic Police Kanat Jumagaziev to discuss the report’s findings and how the situation can be addressed in the context of the Smart Cities program.

The Mayor’s Office committed immediately to installing traffic lights at the Vitebskya crossroad. They have also shared with EASST details of 30 locations in Bishkek of most concern to the city in terms of road risk. There are now plans to improve some of these locations with support from the Safer Roads Foundation, and engineering designs are being drawn up.

The judging panel described the work as an “excellent multifaceted innovative approach which showed outstanding leadership which inspired collaboration between various partners. Achieving this on such a small budget was significant.”

This project has sprouted a new project on “Children’s road safety in Bishkek within Smart city concept” with support of EASST (April 2018-March 2019). It will build upon the results of the 2017 project and focus specifically on children’s safety at black spots in Bishkek.

In addition, EASST and PA Road Safety organised an engineering seminar for faculty members from five technical universities in Bishkek to discuss their road safety training needs. The result was a strong call for road safety management training region-wide. This also chimes with EASST’s current work with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on developing a new road safety audit curriculum to provide a sustainable solution for ensuring pedestrian-friendly road infrastructure.