Putting Road Safety at the heart of Moldova’s plans for sustainable development

Moldova, News, Road Safety Governance and Capacity Building

The Government of the Republic of Moldova hosted a road safety workshop this week at Government House with the aim of reviewing and assessing the country’s road safety performance as well as discussing plans for future improvements and linking road safety to our sustainable development goals.*

Over the last 15 years, Moldova has seen significant improvements in road safety. They are one of few countries globally to come close to meeting the target set by the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 to reduce fatalities by 50% – cutting fatalities by 48% in that period. However, road safety in Moldova remains a serious issue. According to the results of the WHO 2023 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the rate of road fatalities nationally is almost double the EU average. iRAP estimate this loss as a 3.7% cost to the country’s annual GDP.

The Government of the Republic of Moldova understands that losing a loved one as a result of a preventable road traffic collision is both a tragedy and a waste. Moreover, with growing levels of urbanisation and with new challenges related to climate change, a transition away from car travel towards low-carbon forms of transport is essential but to make this transition sustainable and inclusive, road safety must be at the heart of the country’s plans.

The workshop this week, led by Prime Minister Dorin Recean, Andrei Cecoltan, State Secretary to the Ministry of Interior and Nicolai Mîndra, State Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development, was the first step towards this goal.

EASST Director, Emma MacLennan joined the workshop along with our EASST partners Automobile Club of Moldova. It opened with the presentation of the Road Safety Performance Review for Moldova, prepared by the UNECE in collaboration with UNDP Moldova. The purpose of this important review is to analyse and provide recommendations for improving the road safety system, which will serve as a basis for the development of the country’s strategic plans to strengthen the road safety capacity and effectively improve the national road safety system.

This fed in to a later focused discussion on the development Moldova’s new National Road Safety Programme for which a policy concept and action plan was presented. The Programme concept and vision is aligned to the Global Plan of the second UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 and the EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030, and is seeking to implement an integrated Safe System Approach to road safety including road safety management, safe road infrastructure, safe vehicles, safe road users and post-crash response/care.

Three UN organizations in Moldova – WHO, UNICEF, and UNDP – are jointly endorsing this initiative with the aim to support all the project objectives and develop a comprehensive action plan for the Government of Moldova, which will be launched later in the year.

While in Moldova, Emma joined Levan Tevdoradze, Project Coordinator of the Eastern Partnership Road Safety Observatory (for which EASST is part of the Technical Secretariat), for meetings with relevant government stakeholders and decision makers to discuss how the work of the Observatory can support Moldova’s plans for improving road safety.

*The workshop was supported by WHO, UNICEF and UNDP local offices with technical support provided by the Automobile Club of Moldova.