Uzbekistan faces serious challenges in the realm of road safety, with around 3,600 people killed on its roads in 2018, according to WHO figures. Between January and March 2022 alone, 39 children lost their lives on the country’s roads, where 204 out of 1,469 road accidents involved children, government data indicates.
In response to the scale of the challenge, UNECE and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uzbekistan, as a national focal point, have kicked off a Road Safety Performance Review, with the support of UNICEF’s country office in Uzbekistan. The Review, for which a fact-finding mission in Tashkent is underway this week, comes as a result of the meeting between the President of Uzbekistan Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev and UNECE Executive Secretary Ms. Algayerova in July last year.
The Review’s recommendations will seek to address some of the country’s most pressing causes of accidents (e.g. speeding, non-compliance with traffic rules, lack of safe infrastructure and poor protection of vulnerable road users) and to assist Uzbekistan in improving its national road safety system. The Review’s findings will inform national capacity-building workshops and trainings on identified priority areas and support accession to, and implementation of, United Nations road-safety related legal instruments, which offer proven tools to legislate and take concrete measures to address the main causes of crashes.
It is expected that the Review’s findings and recommendations will lead to concrete policy actions (update of national strategic documents and national legislation, improvements in road infrastructure and safety management) and to the launch of road safety measures in Uzbekistan.
The Road Safety Performance Reviews, which have already been developed for 8 countries worldwide, are a comprehensive tool to assist Governments in assessing their road safety situation and in designing a targeted response to challenges faced. The Reviews identify critical safety concerns and seeks to reinforce road safety management capacities. They enhance awareness and convene both public and non-governmental road safety stakeholders, as well as experts, to help design, adopt and implement effective actions and measures to stem the loss of life on the roads.
The Review will be grounded in all areas/pillars of national road safety systems as defined in the Inland Transport Committee Recommendations developed by UNECE and in the Global Plan for the Decade of Action on road safety, developed by UNECE and partners. These are: Road safety management; Safe user; Safe vehicle; Safe road and Effective post-crash response.
Improving road safety as part of the move to clean, efficient and inclusive mobility is an important factor for sustainable development. Urgent action on road safety is especially vital in low- and middle-income countries – such as Uzbekistan –, which account for 93% of 1.4 million fatalities globally.