Ground-breaking project on disability and road safety honoured at 2019 PMIRSA
Story from the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport.
EASST partner the Belarusian Auto Moto Touring Club (BKA) has won a 2019 Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for their ground-breaking project supported by EASST on disability and road safety.
For thirty years His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent has played a leading role in supporting improved road safety both in the United Kingdom and around the world. Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards recognise outstanding achievement and innovation in road safety worldwide.
Road injury is not just a cause of disability – people with disabilities are also more at risk on the roads. The WHO World Report on Disability says “people with disabilities are at a higher risk of non-fatal unintentional injury from road traffic crashes”. Sustainable Development Goal 11.2 calls for “safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.” Despite these facts, little attention has been given to developing specific road safety educational materials for people with disabilities.
The BKA have been working towards this goal since 2016. In 2017, they conducted ground-breaking research into the road safety problems faced by disabled people in Belarus. They found that due to poor levels of accessible infrastructure and a lack of consideration on the roads by drivers and others, two-thirds of disabled people face difficulties in making basic journeys. Sadly, “social attitudes” and lack of understanding were reported as the main barrier to safe inclusive mobility in the country.
According to the Belarusian Ministry of Labour there are approximately 500,000 people with disabilities in Belarus of which 30,000 are children. The aim of our project with the BKA has been to help these people navigate roads and transport systems safely through road safety education, as well as influencing decision makers to encourage long-term development of accessible infrastructure.
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