The Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST) joined the global road safety community to mark the 7th UN Global Road Safety Week by calling on governments and road safety leaders to #RethinkMobility with a particular focus on sustainable transport, in particular the need to shift to walking, cycling, and using public transport.
Across the EASST region, reducing speed limits to 30km/h is an essential first step for many countries ‘rethinking mobility’ in terms of a shift away from car dominance towards prioritising the safety of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.
The EASST regional Situation Report on advancing 30km/h speed limits around school zones in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which launched at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) aims to support this rethinking for a sustainable transition to safer streets.
The report follows two years of advocacy across seven countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, and Tajikistan – where EASST partners have been calling for reduced speeds around schools and on routes to school with the support of the FIA Foundation Advocacy Hub.
During this time, despite a number of unprecedented challenges for the region (including the war in Ukraine as well as political unrest in other countries), EASST partners have seen significant levels of success and progress. In Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova, partners have all achieved some level of policy change mandating 30km/h at either a national or municipal level. Whilst those in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Tajikistan have taken important steps forward and achieved good results in terms of building local support for safe school zones and implementing small scale projects to lay the foundations for future policy change at a district or city level.
The report celebrates these successes but also highlights a complex and challenging picture across the seven countries and emphasises a range of challenges around legislation, stakeholder knowledge and awareness, data, infrastructure, enforcement, and community engagement.
These are areas that EASST will focus on over the next two years as we enter the next phase of the project and build towards the halfway point of the second UN Decade of Action for Road Safety in 2025.
There is still a lot more work to do in terms of implementation, enforcement, and accountability of commitments made thus far as well as and getting decision makers and policy makers to the stage needed for legislative commitments.
If countries are to meet their own national targets, as well as global targets to reduce road fatalities and injuries by 50% by 2030 it is clear that ‘business as usual’ is not enough. We need to #RethinkMobility and act now.