Supporting peer-led youth road safety initiatives in Tajikistan

Children's Road Safety, News, Tajikistan

Every fourth person injured on the road in Tajikistan is a child or teenager under the age of 16. Road traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for young people aged 5-29 globally. Making roads safe for children and young people needs to be a priority.

For the last six years we have been working with our local partners the Young Generation of Tajikistan (YGT) to engage young people in road safety issues, raise awareness and encourage safe road behaviour in the country’s capital, Dushanbe.

This has involved using the EASST Road Safety Education Pack to train groups of Young Road Inspectors to act as ambassadors for road safety in selected ‘at-risk’ schools in the districts of Firdavsi and Sino.

Pupils selected as Young Road Inspectors, along with teachers, in each school are taken through a two-day road safety train the trainers programme using the Education Pack. The teachers then mentor the Road Inspectors as they implement their own Work Plan to improve road safety around their school. This involves training their fellow pupils on the importance of road safety, with more than 2500 young people being trained by their peers to date, as well as initiating and managing their own road safety campaigns.

In celebration of this work, last month the YGT organised a training workshop Young Road Inspectors (YRI) from across the country as part of the ninth annual YRI contest supported by the State Auto Inspection (under the Ministry of Internal Affairs), the Ministry of Education and Science, and the Committee of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism. The concept, which has been modernised to reflect current road safety risks since it was first introduced in Soviet times, involves bringing together young people to work in teams to demonstrate their road safety knowledge and skills in areas such as cycling proficiency and first aid.

The winning team, this year from the city of Istaravshan in the north of the country, received laptop bags as a prize.

Encouraging young people to take ownership of road safety through the Young Road Inspector scheme and supporting them in the delivery of peer-led road safety initiatives has proven a highly successful way of raising road safety awareness and improving road behaviour among young people in the country.

The contest was co-sponsored by JSC ‘Faroz’, the YGT, and EASST.