Road safety is one of the most important socio-economic and demographic challenges of the 21st century. Road traffic collisions cause great financial and moral damage to society as a whole, as well as to individual citizens, particularly children.
Therefore, for a third year, the Young Generation of Tajikistan (YGT) is working with EASST to reduce the injury and fatality rates of children on the roads by promoting better road safety education in schools focusing on the Firdavsi (Central) District of Dushanbe.
By the end of the second phase of the project in 2016, the level of awareness amongst children as to the rules of the road had increased by 34 per cent. For this latest stage, the YGT plan to expand their field of work to with drivers and passengers, as well as children, to raise wider awareness as to the risks of unsafe driving and reduce the number of children involved in road traffic collisions.
In April 2017, 25 children from five schools in the District were inducted as Young Road Inspectors after a training session covering the rules of the road as well as interactive peer-education methods. The scope of these new Young Road Inspectors will be to work in their schools to promote traffic rules among their peers in the form of information sessions and various events.
The YGT have also conducted a series of training sessions for teachers from 10 local schools using the EASST Road Safety Education Pack. Translated into Tajik, the pack provides resources for teachers to introduce children and young people to basic road safety principles in an age-appropriate way by using simple, fun, educational activities. During the training, teachers increased their own knowledge of the rules of the road, with a before and after survey revealing a 27 per cent increase in knowledge, as well we receiving information on how teachers can better prepare children to behave safely on the roads: forming an enlarged understanding of the opportunities and dangers associated with road traffic.
Over the course of 2017, the project will aim to raise awareness of over 2500 children and young people on the dangers of the road, and encourage safer road behaviours.