Kazakhstan Safe Villages and Education

Children in Kazakhstan with road safety artwork

In July 2016, in conjunction with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development’s South West Corridor Road Rehabilitation Project in the Martuk region of Aktobe, Kazakhstan, EASST Expertise consultants delivered a Safe Villages and Education Campaign in the local area where road improvement works had taken place.

Serghei Diaconu and Arsen Shakuov visited local villages and met with over 150 representatives to discuss and raise awareness of the main road risk factors and the measures that could be taken to prevent road traffic collisions.

Working with the EBRD local office, the team met regional stakeholders including the road authority and traffic police. A number of problems were identified including poor driver behaviour, speeding, drink driving, unsafe pedestrian behaviour, the mix of agricultural vehicles and livestock on the roads in rural areas, and a general lack of road safety education or awareness. A particular issue identified was the visibility of pedestrians on the roads and road risk at night.

Also drink driving and speeding were key concerns, engaging with the road police to enhance enforcement was vital.  Meetings were held with the Aktobe City Police Chief and his team to discuss training on enforcement techniques. A pilot project, “Stop drink and drive” was organized on a Saturday evening.  During the pilot, 30 drivers were stopped for random testing and 7% of drivers were found to be above the limit. The regional police are now considering introducing similar strategies more widely.

The project team also organised public meetings in six villages with a representative of the state road authority, the regional and local traffic police, and the Mayors. Villagers were given the opportunity to report any road related concerns, and in many cases played an active role in finding solutions.

Each meeting was followed by road safety awareness training, with the donation of reflective ‘slap bands’ for children. The sessions were highly valued, offering a chance for local people to get involved in making their roads safer as well as encouraging the local authorities to engage with residents.

During road safety training, the project team noticed a significant lack of awareness of visibility on the roads – a key issue for both pedestrians and livestock. In addition to being advised to wear brightly coloured clothing when walking at night, over 600 high-visibility wristbands were given out across the villages – suitable for humans and animals.

Children were found to be amongst the most vulnerable road users and the data showed that in the first six months of 2016, 32 per cent of road crashes involved under 18s.  Therefore, the team introduced EASST’s new Road Safety Education Pack, translated into Russian and Kazakh.  The Pack provided an age-appropriate road safety curriculum that could be taught in a variety of settings. During the visits, 275 children aged 5 – 14 received road safety training using the Pack.  In addition, school directors in each of the six villages agreed to introduce road safety lessons for all primary school children starting from September 2016.  Local police also agreed to assist in delivering the lessons.

A follow up visit in October 2016 by Emily Carr and Arsen Shakuov saw further road safety training take place in nine schools reaching another 500 children.

The project also included a pedestrian safety awareness-raising event in Aktobe Nazarbaev Public Park, which involved the regional juvenile police, Aktobe City Police, and a local road safety NGO.

In Conclusion

The Team delivered a comprehensive package of consultation, stakeholder and community engagement, assessment of road risk, traffic police capacity building, education, and support for vulnerable road users.

The project highlighted the enormous value of local consultation during large-scale road infrastructure projects.

The SW Corridor is an old road, built when good consultation was not common. Today the EBRD is leading the way by ensuring road safety is a specific component of all road rehabilitation and construction projects.  EASST Expertise’s consultants are delighted to support this hugely valuable life-saving work.

Key Areas
  • Local consultation
  • Community engagement
  • Assessing road risk
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Police enforcement
  • Road safety education
  • Raising visibility
  • Preventing drink driving
  • Increasing the visibility of vulnerable road users.

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