International Conference on Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety gets underway in Kiev

20 June 2013

Today marked the beginning of the International Conference on Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety in Kiev, Ukraine. The conference has been organised by the International Road Safety Organisation, PRI (La prevention routiere international) and the NGO, the Ukrainian Road Safety Association. It is the first conference of its kind to take place in Ukraine and has brought together participants from over 25 countries.

The conference was opened by Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, who highlighted the importance of the issue of road safety, both for everyone living inUkraineand for the country as a whole. He outlined the areas which are currently of particular concern and stressed that the government will be making major efforts going forward to reduce the numbers of people dying on the roads.

President of the International Road Safety Organisation, Joop Goos, underlined the fact that the fatality figures are only the tip of the iceberg, beneath which are the tears and sorrow of the victims’ families and friends. He also noted that the conference is extremely relevant and timely, given that pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists account for almost half of those killed on the roads. Thus preventative work with these groups of road users and infrastructure improvements are among the most important areas of work for Ukraine in the immediate future.

Mikhail Berlin, President of the Ukrainian Road Safety Association, thanked those present and expressed the hope that the opportunity to share experiences and make new contacts would prove a supplementary tool in helping the representatives of the different countries to refine their national road safety plans.

During the conference sessions, by using examples from various countries, were covered contemporary issues in urban planning, in particular with the aim of enhancing the attractiveness of towns and cities for tourists through the establishment of convenient and user-friendly footpaths and cycle routes. The sessions also presented the latest infrastructure and vehicle problems and proposed possible solutions.

All the conference participants highlighted the importance of a systematic approach to road safety and the need for close cooperation between all stakeholders. During his presentation, Serhii Budnyk, Head of the Centre for Road Safety and Automated Systems at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, called on the media to remind pedestrians periodically that, although they are a priority as a vulnerable group, they must not act in ways likely to cause accidents. According to statistics, the most common offence committed by pedestrians remains not crossing roads at designated crossings.

The first day of the conference was rounded off with a trip to the Ukrainian National Emergency Services mobile rescue unit training centre, where conference delegates saw demonstrations of training for a number of different rescue units.

Photos taken by conference participants can be viewed on our Facebook page



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