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EASST: Building capacity for safer roads in Central Asia
In March 2018, FIRE AID’s Deputy Chair and EASST’s Director, Emma MacLennan and road engineer Paul Disney held a one-day ‘taster’ seminar in Bishkek with representatives from five Universities aimed at improving their road safety training and syllabi.

The seminar was hosted by the Agriculture University in Bishkek who have a specific curriculum on road safety. The event initiated a discussion on designing roads with a focus on vulnerable road users. It included sessions on the need for stakeholder engagement, building the concept of pedestrian safety within the theme of Smart Cities, the use of data and mapping to underpin road safety strategies, as well as the principles of safe intersection design.

Speaking about the workshop in Bishkek, Jyrgalbek Sharsheel, Director of Technical and Economic College, KNAU remarked, “It was nice to have comparative cases of how road safety is addressed in Europe, underscoring the need to engage people in the planning process when thinking about roads. It will help reorient my lectures while training road engineers.”

The workshops Kyrgyzstan were a real opportunity to assist the next generation of engineers to broaden their thinking on matters of road safety, and to avoid simply following a manual or design standard. For safety to take hold in the region, many steps still need to be taken. One of these requires the next generation of engineers to question what the safest option for the benefit of all road users may be. Participants acknowledged that they did not want to be responsible for training engineers to build the next black spot.

The training is therefore helping to achieve actions highlighted in the 2017-2020 CAREC Regional Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan as well as the Draft Road Safety Strategy and Action Plan for Tajikistan produced by the ADB in 2017 for capacity building in road safety engineering and audit for engineers.

Donor

Name: EASST Location: Kent, UK

Recipient

Name: Road Safety NGO Location: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan