Momentum for 30km/h speed limits near school zones is gaining in Georgia following advocacy campaign for the implementation of the rule in municipalities by an Alliance member NGO.
So far, 96 school zones in Zugdidi, Tbilisi, and Rustavi municipalities have installed new road signs for the reduced speed limit. Zugdidi City has installed 30km/h road signs in 42 school zones and 15 in villages outside the city boundaries. Tbilisi and Rustavi have established 39 school zones and also developed new road standards for these areas.
The move follows advocacy campaign for implementation of the 30km/h speed limit by Partnership for Road Safety (PfRS) through a program coordinated by EASST as part of the Alliance Incubator and supported by the FIA Foundation Advocacy Hub.
In Georgia, urban speed limits are set at the municipal level and the changes are implemented by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The reduction of the speed limit and subsequent enforcement is expected to reduce traffic crashes and injuries near schools. Data shows that 20 children under the age of 16 were killed in road crashes in 2020 in Georgia.
The advocacy by PfRS included frequent meetings with decision makers to discuss benefits of reducing the speed limit to the recommended 30km/h. Pilot programs that provided evidence of speed limits near schools were also done.
The campaign also involved training for representatives of the municipality, including the road department as well as media engagement on safer roads for school children.
Through advocacy for the 30km/h speed limit in school zones, PfRS, as an NGO, has demonstrated accountability for its role in influencing and supporting their government to implement evidence-based interventions proven to reduce road deaths and injuries.
The Mayor of Zugdidi Municipality, Mamuka Tsotseria commented on the program saying:“Ensuring a safe environment in school zones is critically important for Zugdidi Municipality’s City Hall, as well as adopting engineering solutions that will help limit speed to 30 km/h and create safe road infrastructure near schools. The City Hall of Zugdidi Municipality will continue working on increasing the safety of school zones in the future, which will be one of our priority directions.”
PfRS has also taken the 30km/h advocacy campaign to the national level through a report that has been presented to parliament. The report calls for reduced speed limits and enforcement of the same around school zones.