Promoting regional road safety in Armenia

Armenia, News, Road Safety Governance and Capacity Building

According to the World Health Organisation’s 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the rate of road traffic fatalities in Armenia is 18.3 per 100,000 population. This is the highest rate in any Eastern European or Caucasus country, and costs an estimated 4.62 per cent of GDP annually.[1]

Establishing partnerships with local authorities is a vital step towards improving road safety, saving lives and developing the economy. On 1st March, EASST partner, Poghos Shahinyan, Executive Director of the Armenian National Road Safety Council, visited the rural Shirak region of Armenia to meet with the governor, Mr. Arthur Khachatryan. During the meeting they discussed a variety of issues related to road traffic regulation in the region – particularly in the regional capital, Gyumri.

In Gyumri there is a lot to be achieved – street markings need updating while both drivers and pedestrians frequently flout traffic safety rules. Not only in Gyumri, but also globally, there is a need to change public attitudes to road safety from one that focuses on risk takers to one that understands the importance of sustainable mobility and a safe system approach for everyone.

Poghos Shahinyan, Executive Director of the Armenian National Road Safety Council, has an outstanding level of experience in the region as well as significant expertise in road safety education, public awareness campaigning and outreach as well as road safety enforcement and advocacy. As an initial step, Poghos has suggested introducing the EASST Road Safety Education Pack to schools in Gyumri. The introduction of the pack in Yerevan has already seen 1000 children trained and led to a commitment from local road police to put on extra patrols around school gates.

As a result of the meeting both sides agreed to draw up an MOU for the joint implementation of activities in the region related to road safety and community outreach.

[1] Region as defined by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) including: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. For more information, download our 2017 report Road Safety in the EBRD Region.