The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia makes pedestrian road safety a priority

WHO/Predrag Kitanovski

Participants at a road safety week workshop in Skopje, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Pedestrian safety should be an important component in the efforts to prevent injuries, participants of a national policy dialogue on pedestrian safety recently held in Skopje recommended.

The WHO Country Office in the former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia organized the workshop in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Institute of Public Health as part of this year’s road safety campaign “Make Walking Safe”.

The workshop was attended by 23 participants from organizations working on road safety, such as the Ministry of Health, Institute of Public Health, National Road Safety Council, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Education, and nongovernmental organizations.

National strategy for road safety

Lively discussion was followed with recommendations for further actions towards the implementation of the five-year national strategy that was rolled out in 2009 for improving road traffic safety. The participants stressed that accidents with pedestrians and other road traffic accidents should not be accepted as inevitable, because they have specific risk factors and therefore are predictable and can be prevented. They made specific recommendations about pedestrian safety, such as:

  • reducing the speed limit
  • separating pedestrians from motor traffic
  • increasing visibility of pedestrians
  • changing the behaviour of drivers and pedestrians through public campaigns and law enforcement
  • improving the design of vehicles 
  • improving care for the injured at the scene of the accident
  • ameliorating emergency hospital health care
  • rehabilitating and reintegrating victims into society.

The implementation of the strategy is expected to result in the number of road deaths in the country being halved by 50% and no child road user becoming a victim by 2014.