Image credit: FIA Foundation

28 June 2019: FIA automobile club Emergency Assist 991 (EA991) in Botswana has launched a new project, ‘Safer Roads to Schools – Too Young to Die’ to reduce child pedestrian injuries and deaths from road crashes.

The 12-month project is funded through the FIA Road Safety Grants Programme which provides support to all FIA members on the ground to meet the objectives of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.

The project aims to:

  • Reduce child pedestrian injuries and deaths on Botswana’s roads, especially on those roads leading to schools;
  • Introduce use of iRAP Star Rating for Schools to guide infrastructure improvements and to encourage long term strategic investment in safety by local government;
  • Contribute towards achieving the country’s national road safety strategy, in support of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020.

Two weeks after the official launch, iRAP Representative Racheal Nganwa (pictured above) was in Botswana working with the Emergency Assist 991 team to collect SR4S data for three schools – Mogoditshane, Itumeleng and Taung Primary Schools. Racheal also trained members of the EA991 and Society of Road Safety Ambassadors (SORSA), partner of the project, in SR4S data collection, input data and consideration of possible countermeasures to improve the Star Ratings around school zones.

The schools involved in the assessment will receive the improved countermeasures, which include the implementation of pedestrian crossings, sidewalks and safety barriers, along with educating the children to familiarise themselves with the new infrastructure.

Racheal was able to meet with the Ministry of Transport in Botswana during her visit,  who appreciated the ‘Safer Roads to Schools – Too Young to Die’ project and are looking forward to seeing the results and making the journey to schools safer for children.

FIA Foundation Programmes Manager Aggie Krasnolucka said: “We are pleased to see such interest and endorsement from local road safety stakeholders. The Safer Roads to Schools – Too Young to Die project maintains the momentum built by the recent launch of safe school infrastructure in the presence of the First Lady of Botswana, Neo Masisi, and Child Health Initiative Global Ambassador Zoleka Mandela.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 477 people are killed on Botswana’s roads each year, with child pedestrians among the highest-risk groups for road traffic injury. 231 lives of children were claimed by road crashes in the past 5 years while 787 and 2576 children had serious and minor injuries respectively.

Information sourced from FIA Foundation article : https://www.fiafoundation.org/blog/2019/june/too-young-to-die-fia-auto-club-leads-star-rating-for-schools-intervention-in-botswana

For more information on the launch:

https://www.fiafoundation.org/blog/2019/june/botswanas-first-lady-leads-safe-school-journey-launch
http://roadsafetyngos.org/sh_events/road-safety-ambassadors-launch-safe-school-infrastructure-project/

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