From the 22nd till the 26th of October we joined our EASST partners in the All EASST Partners Meeting in Minsk, Belarus hosted by E.A.S.S.T. and B.K.A.. It was a week filled with meetings, workshops and roundtables all about road safety.
The week started with the fleet management roundtable discussions with fleet managers, business owners, and government representatives as well as contributions from EASST Academy course instructor Andy Price and Managing Director Dmitry Sambuk, highlighted the importance of, and vital need for, more robust fleet safety management, not only in Belarus but also regionally. The financial cost of just one road traffic collision can be exceptionally high. Andy Price presented the staggering costs saved by Nestle when they began to implement a more robust fleet safety management programme. In 2004, the cost of Nestle’s road insurance in Europe alone was so high that they would have had to sell 235 MILLION KitKat’s just to cover it. But through improved road safety management they were able to significantly reduce their insurance premiums and are now global leaders in fleet safety management.
The week continued with discussions on disability and road risk, the panel talked about the importance of stakeholder engagement and including people with disabilities in the discussion and consultation processes when it comes to making roads and cities fit for purpose for people with disabilities and for all road users. Serghey Drozdovskiy, Mobility activist and CEO of the Office for the Rights of People with Disabilities, shared his experiences of travelling as a disabled person both in Belarus and internationally and the accessibility barriers he faces on a daily basis. EASST partners from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova presented the surveys they have conducted with people with disabilities for their perceptions on accessibility and inclusivity as pedestrians, drivers and public transport users. Each report includes a number of recommendations aimed at improving the situation in each individual country and while differing in the nuances, each have shown better accessibility and inclusivity in terms of road design, safety, and public awareness are urgently needed.
Poghos Shahinyan led a very helpful advocacy workshop for EASST partners on how they can take their work forward and use their reports to promote safer and more inclusive transport in their countries. At the EASST All Partners meeting we unanimously voted to support gender parity and equal opportunities in all their road safety projects. We have all committed to supporting EASST’s gender policy through the delivery of gender responsive programmes and projects and signing up to our Minsk Gender Declaration, which states that:
“We as EASST partners are committed to maintaining an institutional culture that ensures gender parity and equal opportunities in all our work as well as leading in the delivery of gender-responsive programmes to benefit all people.”
Evidence from around the globe has shown that that pedestrian-friendly, female friendly cities are good for tourism, good for local businesses, better for public health and can have a positive impact on local communities and employment.
You can read more here: https://www.easst.co.uk/new-easst-working-group-seeks-equal-access-to-public-transport-for-all/