Working towards a reduction in road deaths in West Kazakhstan Region

Kazakhstan, News, Road Safety Governance and Capacity Building

This year marks the final year of interventions under the West Kazakhstan Region’s Road Safety Strategy 2020-25. The strategy was developed with EASST support in 2019, with funding from Shell Kazakhstan and Eni.

Led by EASST and the Automobile Club of Moldova (ACM) in partnership with the Akimat (regional government) and local NGO partners, implementation of the strategy has taken a holistic approach. In the last year, our work focused on building local capacity around post-crash emergency measures, pedestrian mobility and safety, accessibility for people with disabilities, community engagement, safe driving, and crash data collection and mapping.

We held a number of meetings with city officials, traffic police, engineers, and other stakeholders to discuss modern approaches to safe urban street design in which vulnerable road users are prioritised.

Increasing awareness and youth engagement in road safety issues was also an important goal. Our local partners held several events targeted at young people. This included various awareness raising sessions, a special training programme for new drivers, as well as consultations in which young people were able to raise their own questions about road safety and suggest solutions. Their ideas included holding an annual social action, led by youth, appealing directly to the relevant state authorities, as well as using social media to engage with a wider audience.

This year our work will focus on implementing ‘tactical urbanism’ street transformations on two sections of road that have been identified as high risk. The transformations will prioritise the safety and accessibility for vulnerable road users and act as a demonstration of how low-cost infrastructure improvements can dramatically improve liveability and road safety.

Inclusive mobility will also be a core the theme for this year. We will build on the results of pilot workshops conducted last year to train drivers and managers of public transport companies on creating an inclusive public transport environment. This training will be based on our EASST Academy Disability Awareness Training module.

Finally, towards the end of the year, we will be reviewing and evaluating the final results of the 5-year Action Plan with the Akimat. The project has been the first of its kind in Kazakhstan and is already serving as an example for other regions on how road safety can be improved through using a Safe System approach.