Alumni Spotlight: Chinara Kasmambetova, Kyrgyzstan

Alumni Spotlight

Chinara Kasmambetova named one of ‘Best People of 2022’ for road safety interventions

Chinara Kasmambetova from the Kyrgyz Republic has been named by Kutbilim News as one of the Best People of 2022 for her work to improve road safety by upgrading infrastructure at two highly dangerous intersections in Bishkek.

The two intersections in question have accounted for almost 20 road casualties in the last three years. Children are at particular risk as the intersections form part of their route to and from school.

“My nomination by the Kutbilim newspaper as a “Person of the Year” was an honour because it was not just an appreciation of my work for 2022 but for previous years as well. I am delighted to be included in a list amongst people who have made a real and significant contribution to our Republic, each in their field of activity.”

“There may not yet be a widespread understanding and implementation of the Safe System Approach in Kyrgyzstan, but I believe there is a curtain role of civil sector, NGOs, that voice and implement this approach as part of their work. On an annual basis we implement projects with our permanent partner EASST in the UK, building on the Safe System The modernization of these intersections in Bishkek, piloting 30 km/h, and working with schools to improve their road infrastructure are real examples of it in practice.”

With support from the Safer Roads Foundation and the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST) through the FIA Foundation’s Advocacy Hub, Chinara’s organisation ‘Road Safety’ has worked closely with local engineers and Traffic Policy to install new road signs and LED traffic lights with pedestrian countdown indicators, improve paving and road markings, and build the country’s first ever pedestrian refuge island.

All improvements have been designed and installed according to international best practice and serve as an example for future work being carried out in the city.

Comments from local road users are already showing the work’s impact:

“Before, the zebras here were all crooked and they were in the wrong place. Now it is safer to cross when the traffic light is on. I used to cross the road only by looking at other people – if people crossed then I also crossed. But now they put a new traffic light and I can cross myself easily.” – Girl from local school

“We really like the painted zebras. It’s really very convenient when crossing with a pushchair. There wasn’t a pedestrian walkway before, but now there is one and it’s very convenient. Especially when crossing with children and pushchairs.” – local mother and baby

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