NRSC at EaP transport panel road safety workshop
The EaP (Eastern Partnership) panel road safety workshop took place in Brussels on 29 June. The workshop was organised by the European Commission and World Bank. Participants were from Government Agencies, from Armenia, Belorussia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Ukraine. This was a first kick off for the regional cooperation on road safety, which will give the possibility to the country road safety related bodies to coordinate their efforts to reach the targets put forward by UN through the SDGs and signed by country participants.
In his opening speech Mr. Alain Baron, Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) of the European Commission has mentioned the importance of regional cooperation and assured of his support in developing the regional agenda.
The Armenian side was represented by Mr. Poghos Shahinyan the Head of secretariat of the National Road Safety Council of Armenia, Lieutenant Colonel Kostantin Kostanyan – Chief of Department of Traffic Management Control of Road Police of Armenia and Gurgen Tadevosyan — Deputy Director General «Armenian Roads Directorate», Ministry of Transport and Communications and Information Technologies of Armenia.
Mr. Poghos Shahinyan was chairing the panel on road safety management and during his speech mentioned the success that the Armenian Government had with the reduction of fatalities in 2016 by 23%. The positive outcome of the technological inputs that Government made through the speed cameras and cross cameras, due to which the number of people using the speed belt is increasing and today almost 95% are wearing the latter. He has also presented the existing structure of the Council in Armenia, and its positive reflection with the high level involvement on the road safety developments.
Other panellists pointed out the importance of having the National road safety action plan and its implementation in the regional context.
The purpose of the meeting was reached in working groups, which were created to come up with the suggestions for the Ministers meeting and for the upcoming discussions. The working groups were divided into:
1st group: Road Safety Management, Coordination, Data and observatory
This group came up with recommendations of having a separate Government body such as a road safety council, to discuss the possibilities of sustainable funding for it and establishment of a road safety Fund, which will allow to allocate a certain percent for road safety activities within the implementation of road safety action plan. To develop the unified/standard data base, which would give access to information for further evaluation by researches and for use on daily base by engineers.
2nd group: Speed management
Second group came up with the suggestion of design and infrastructure solutions, automated traffic management systems. For example, it was suggested to develop norms for artificial reduction of the speed in vulnerable areas. They have also suggested to discuss legal mechanisms for speed control, road signs harmonized and t initiate the collaboration with other countries in the region.
3rd group: Enforcement
The third group was enforcement and came up with the suggestion of developing strict drink driving legislation, more authority to the police for sanctions and the need to apply penalties more efficiently and rapidly, ensuring that penalties to be paid.
4th group: Technical standards, black spot management
And the fourth group suggested to upgrade the design standards from the safety perspective including the development and reviewal of manuals. Install the audit system and develop the capacity through educating the proper staff. The group also suggested to create the common approach for pedestrian crossings and black spot improvement.
All the participants suggested to establish the following permanent regional working groups on black spot, speed management and data standards.