The Governer of Gagauzia is first to use the slide and expresses his support of the ACM in a TV interviewEASST’s Moldovan partner, the Automobile Club of Moldova (ACM) has been campaigning to increase the use of seat belts among drivers and passengers across Moldova.

The use of a seat belt is one of the most simple, inexpensive and effective methods of ensuring survivability during a crash as it limits the movement of those wearing it. Despite this, and regardless of the mandatory use of seat belts in the Republic of Moldova, many vehicle users fail to use the life-saving seat belt.

In response to this, on 16th May 2012, the ACM in partnership with the Comrat Road Police, the Gagauzian Bashkan Mr Mihail Formuzal, the Department of Education in Gagauzia, the Pedagogical College in Comrat and other partners, carried out a new social campaign entitled “Seat Belt Saves Life”. The event was dedicated to the first anniversary of the launch of UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and the national campaign “Make Roads Safe” in Moldova.

To demonstrate the importance of seat belt use, the ACM delivered a public demonstration of the ‘Seat Belt Slide’, donated by the FIA Foundation and EASST. The slide imitates a crash at a speed of 30 km/h and stresses the necessity of using a seat belt. Training and technical support during the slide demonstration was provided by experts of the Automobile Club of Czech Republic (UAMK).

The slide was first tested by the Bashkan (Governor) of Gagauzia, Mr. Mihail Formuzal, who expressed his gratitude for the actions initiated by the ACM and commented that he is always open to collaboration in order to improve the road situation in Moldova and Gagauzia.

Among the main supporters and organisers of the event were the Deputy Governor and the Head of the Education Department, Mrs. Vera Balova.  Everyone present at the demonstration had the opportunity to use the slide and imitate conditions of a road crash at 30 km/h. In addition,  police officers from Comrat invited drivers who had failed to use a seat belt to pass a mini „crash test” as an alternative to paying fines. Pupils from the Lyceums distributed handmade cards with calls to obey the traffic law and buckle up during every journey. Also involved in the demonstration were those learning to drive who tested the seat belt slide as a way of ensuring their use of seat belts once their test has been passed.

ACM staff and the event participants campaign to increase the use of seat beltsFrom 10th-16th May, a video dedicted to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety was aired on public screens in Comrat and on local TV channels:

The ACM project manager, Tatiana Mihailova commented:

“We must not forget that road accidents are the first cause of death for young people aged between 10-24, worldwide, including in Moldova. Nobody is insured from a road accident, but everyone can complete the simple task of using the seatbelt, which takes up to only 10 seconds, but these 10 seconds can save lives.”

Further information and media coverage on the campaign can be found using the links below:!