Susan shares her journey with DRSC and the Zambian Road Safety Trust
Written by 2023 DRSC Alumnus Susan Mawele.
As a proud alumna of the Delft Road Safety Courses (DRSC) and currently serving as a Project Officer for the Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST), I am committed to spearheading initiatives that enhance road safety and sustainable transport in Zambia. ZRST, a leading non-governmental organization, is dedicated to collaborating with diverse stakeholders to raise awareness, advocate for road safety related policy changes, conduct impactful research, and implement practical road safety measures across the nation – including speed reduction and safer infrastructure. In my role, I actively contribute to ZRST’s mission by undertaking projects that make a tangible difference in our community.
My transformative journey as a road safety professional started with my participation in the Annual Delft Road Safety Course in 2022/2023. This invaluable experience provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the Safe System Approach and equipped me with essential skills tailored to the specific context of Zambia. The course not only honed my ability to conduct evidence-based research but also fostered critical thinking and effective collaboration with professionals from diverse backgrounds and countries.
The knowledge and skills acquired from DRSC empowered me to lead and manage impactful projects at ZRST. Among these projects, I take great pride in the Safe School Infrastructure Improvement Programme, which focuses on rehabilitating and upgrading school zones .. This initiative is based on the Safe System approach and aims to enhance the accessibility and safety of students, teachers, and parents navigating these areas daily. We used iRAP tools for data collection and modelling best practice examples and taking an evidence-based approach.
Some of the outcomes of this project as shown in the picture below have included installing speed humps, zebra crossings, and road signs around school zones, providing reflective vests, helmets, and bicycles to students and teachers, conducting road safety audits and assessments to identify and address hazards, as well as educating school communities on road safety rules and best practices.
Additionally, I have embraced lobbying and advocacy for various road safety causes. I have organized and participated in several awareness campaigns to promote safe road user behaviour, such as Car Free Day activities to encourage the use of low-carbon transportation modes, contributing not only to improved road safety but also to reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and promote walking and cycling. I have also campaigned to raise awareness on the importance of proper road use among road users, including pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists, through road safety workshops and seminars, sharing knowledge and experiences with other stakeholders and practitioners.
DRSC has been instrumental in shaping my perspective on road safety and sustainability. As a DRSC alumna and a dedicated Project Officer for ZRST, I am committed to driving positive change in the field of road safety in Zambia. The knowledge and skills acquired through DRSC in terms of using the Safe System Approach to plan and implement road safety projects as well as lobbying and designing awareness campaigns continue to be instrumental in implementing effective measures and advocating for a safer, more sustainable future on our roads.