Promoting Road Safety in Georgia
Gela Kvashilava celebrates the launch two innovative projects: “Friendly Roads” and “Cleaner Air for Georgian Cities”. Gela is Chairman of the Foundation Partnership for Road Safety and Advisory Board Member and Consultant of the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST). He is also a regional consultant of the EU lead TRACECA Land Transport Safety II project.As a John Smith Trust Fellow in 2006 Gela visited the RAC Foundation, Roadsafe, AA Motoring Trust, ROSPA, the Department for Transport, Thames Road Police, the OECD and Hertforshire County Council.
Georgia’s unsafe roads are one of the most urgent public health problems facing the country. Last year alone, 605 people were killed in traffic accidents, with an additional 7734 persons injured. Traffic accidents are amongst the top five causes of death in Georgia and they are the leading cause of death among young people aged 5 to 29. In order to combat this leading cause of death and disability and make Georgia’s roads safer for all road users, the Partnership for Road Safety and Elva Community Engagement are implementing an innovative citizen engagement project titled "Friendly Roads", with the support of the East-West Management Institute and USAID. The project allows citizens throughout all regions of Georgia to report hazardous traffic infrastructure and traffic accidents in their neighborhood using SMS and online technology. On the website www.megobruligzebi.ge all these citizen reports are shown on an interactive map together with official data on traffic accidents, to create the first publicly accessible overview of traffic hazards in Georgia. The project will encourage safe driving behavior and will allow citizens to easily report and spot the most dangerous traffic infrastructure (the so-called “black spots”) in their neighbourhood and commuting routes. In the near future, the second stage, such as installing the traffic signs, will start. The process is supported by the Tbilisi City Hall, Ministry of Regional Government and Infrastructure of Georgia. During the project implementation, the insurance company “IRAO” expressed their interest towards the project and decided to participate in the installation process with their financial support. A video commercial for "Friendly Roads" has been prepared and is being shown on leading national and regional TV channels, such as Rustavi 2, Imedi, 1st Channel, Tabula, Maestro, Adjara TV, Trialeti, Odishi, and 2nd TV. The radio ad is also prepared and is aired on the following radio channels: FM Abkhazia, Radio Jako, Auto Radio, Radio Utsnobi, Radio Odishi, Radio Adjara, and Radio Hereti.
Road sign put in front of a Tbilisi school as part of the "Friendly Roads" programme. More such signs are due to be placed across the country.
Clean Air for Georgian Cities
The Partnership for Road Safety has also started to implement its “Clean Air for Georgian Cities” project in collaboration with the organisations “Eco Vision” and “Elva”. The overall purpose of the project is to promote healthier, cleaner air throughout Georgia’s cities through implementing a powerful community-led advocacy and monitoring campaign. The project’s specific objective is to monitor air quality through public, cost-effective monitoring systems. It includes several components such as setting up eco-clubs in schools and involving children in the process of collecting data on air quality, and installing air quality monitoring sensors in different cities across Georgia which will provide information on pollution levels for an online database and automated mapping system. 80 air quality monitoring sensors have been bought and most are already installed. The map depicts the air quality pollution level at the specific places so that citizens can see where the air is polluted and the air pollution exceeds the norms. An information video about eco-life and air quality has been prepared and will soon be available for the wider public.
Safedrive Media portal:
Kids road safety education portal: