Every year, since 2002, the European Mobility Week is organised from 16 to 22 September and is dedicated to sustainable mobility. The campaign is accompanied by a one-day event called “In town, without my car”.
In May 2013 Ukrainian community celebrated three events: the Second UN Global Road Safety Week on May 6-12, Europe Day (May 18), and the traditional All-Ukrainian Bicycle Day (May 25). It is a remarkable opportunity to pool efforts and remind the authorities about our legitimate rights and interests, especially, about the right for safe and comfortable traffic conditions.
We might be walking and riding on different roads and streets, but we do have a common enemy – speeding, poor pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and a constant neglect of the needs of pedestrians and cyclists by the state and local authorities. The consequences of this policy have led to the high rate of deaths and injuries among the road users. According to the data from the Traffic Safety and Automated Systems Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, 1900 pedestrians and 322 cyclists were killed on the Ukrainian roads last year only, while 9934 pedestrians and 1483 cyclists were injured. In 2012 more than 5000 people were killed in motor accidents in Ukraine (www.sai.gov.ua).
Unfortunately, little has been done to improve the safety of vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists. Despite the recommendations of the WHO and other international organizations, the state has not yet taken action to limit the driving speed in the populated areas. Therefore, we call for pooling the efforts of non-governmental organizations and community leaders to lobby our legitimate rights and interests.
In particular, we suggest collecting signatures for the Appeal for Traffic Safety which demands that driving speed in the populated areas be limited to 50 km/hour, while in the densely populated city districts – to 30 km/hour. This is a time-tested and effective European practice. Last year the rate of fatal car accidents on European roads fell by 9%, whereas in Ukraine it grew by 12%.
We hope that mass appeals to the President of Ukraine, the Prime Minister, and the leaders of the local self-government authorities will bring this issue to their attention and encourage them to resolve it. We call on you and your local community to sign the Appeal for Traffic Safety and collect signatures among the participants of the Bicycle Day and other citizens in your cities.
Oleksandr SITENKO, president of NGO ‘Road Users Association’ (Kharkiv)
Oleksandr ZALIVAN, director of the charity foundation ‘Traffic Safety’ (Kharkiv),
Yuriy PAPIROVYI, head of the All-Ukrainian NGO ‘Public Committee for Traffic Safety’ (Kyiv),
Yehor KALASHNYKOV, head of the Fund for Traffic Safety Promotion (Kyiv),
Viktor KOZORIZ, head of the Public Association ‘For Pedestrian Safety’ (Kharkiv),
Iryna BONDARENKO, coordinator of the Kyiv Cyclists’ Association (Kyiv).
Iryna Bondarenko, coordinator of signatures collection,
Viktor Kozoriz, coordinator of the campaign ‘European Standards for the Ukrainian Roads’,
email@example.com 050 2019 359, www.pishohid.org