Safe Routes to School
With the support of the FIA Foundation Advocacy Hub EASST is working with its network of local NGO partners across 8 countries, through mentored grants, capacity building and knowledge sharing, to advocate for lower speeds and safe school zones with a focus on 30km/h speed limits in school zones.
The average speed limit around schools in our region is 40km/h, and even this is frequently exceeded due to low levels of enforcement, high tolerance limits for speeding, and a lack of speed management infrastructure.
Our partners’ projects are seeking to raise awareness on a range of interrelated issues as they campaign for better enforcement, safer streets, cleaner air, an improved environment for walking and cycling, and improved infrastructure around schools. Across the region, they have been working with traffic police to identify high-risk schools in their cities and use global tools such as Star Ratings for Schools and the GDCI Designing Streets for Kids Guide to assess and advocate for improvements, including lower speeds.
To provide our partners with tailored supports, we are following a streamed approach:
Stream 1 or ‘Persuaders’ include partners in Armenia, Moldova and Georgia who have a track record in working towards Safe School Zones and have identified clear policy goals that might be realistically achieved by 2025.
Stream 2 or ‘Pathfinders’ include partners in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Ukraine* who have further to travel on their policy journey. They are beginning the journey to policy change by building local support for safe school zones and advocating for small scale projects to lay the foundations for future policy change at a district or city level.
* In February 2022, work in Ukraine was paused due to the impact of the war.
Child-Centred Street Design
EASST has developed a Toolkit to assist EASST partners (and other interested NGOs) in identifying, assessing, and reporting on school zone safety from a child-centred perspective.
The document is designed to help them evaluate the immediate area around schools – to assess the key risks and consider interventions that could be made to improve safety for vulnerable and young road users. It signposts partners to additional resources such as iRAP Star Rating for Schools, GDCI ‘Designing Streets for Kids’, and the Child Health Initiative ‘Traffic Conflict Technique’ toolkit.
The toolkit is helping EASST partners to select priority schools and work through a series of structured topics and questions (including issues such as speed management, parking, and infrastructure to name but a few) to produce a standardised written report on the current safety around an individual school to help identify areas for improvement and develop recommendations.
PARTNER ADVOCACY WINS 2021-2022
During phase 1 of the project (2021-2022) each of our EASST partners succeeded in making important gains towards their policy goals.
For the Persuaders (Armenia, Georgia, Moldova) these achievements included some level of policy change mandating 30km/h at either a national or municipal level.
The Pathfinders (Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Tajikistan) have also taken important steps forward and achieved good results in terms of building local support for safe school zones and implementing small scale projects to lay the foundations for future policy change at a district or city level.
This poster details some of the key advocacy wins from phase 1.
Children’s Road Safety News
National Road Safety Council NGO (NRSC) organises Armenia’s first ever multi-stakeholder dialogue on road safety and low speed school zones.
Global Shapers Ulaanbaatar Hub address school zone safety for over 8000 kids in the Bayanzurkh District.
EASST and Aggie Krasnolucka of the FIA Foundation spent two days with our local partner, Public Association ‘Road Safety’ (PARS) in Bishkek to discuss children’s road safety around schools.
Teachers at School no. 12 in Sumgayit City in Azerbaijan welcome lower speeds and new pedestrian infrastructure ahead of the new school year.
Automobile Club of Moldova are using the Star Rating for Schools App to assess three schools in Moldova and implement low-cost interventions to demonstrate how simple infrastructure upgrades can support 30km/h speed limits.
EASST partner and Founder of Impact NGO Ukraine, Oksana Romanukha, shares her experience of supporting five mega-convoys of fire and rescue aid to Ukraine.
EASST’s Emily Carr was invited by the ADB to present the new Safe School Zone Community Toolkit – a structured guide to support schools and communities in implementing community-led road safety projects.
EASST partner awarded the Medal of Honour by the Ukrainian State Emergency Services for the integral role played in the delivery of essential fire and rescue equipment to Ukraine over the past year.
EASST collaborates with BIHAMK and expert consultants to lead three-day training programme for local highway authorities and engineers on road safety in tunnels supported by the EBRD in Sarajevo.
Infrastructure can have an important impact on guiding pedestrian and driver behaviour. This must be an important consideration when developing a road safety strategy.