Image credit: EA991

The High-level Road Safety Stakeholders’ Forum on Enhancing Child and Adolescent Safety in Botswana’s Primary and Secondary Schools was held on 28 November 2023 by Emergency Assist 991 and funded by FIA Road Safety Grant Programme 2023.

The aim of the forum is to advocate for the adoption of the UN Global Plan – Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 and Vision Zero Targets, introduce the Star Rating for Schools (SR4S) and School Area Road Safety Assessments and Improvements (SARSAI) Methodologies, and foster stakeholders’ collaboration and collective action in addressing child fatalities and serious injuries especially near school zones.

The event had participants from Botswana National Planning Commission, Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, African Council of Touring and Automobile Clubs, Botswana Police Service, Botswana District Road Safety Committees (DRSCs), Department of Roads, Department of Local Government Technical Services, FIA Foundation, WHO Country Representative, Society of Road Safety Ambassadors (SORSA), FIA Best Young Driver Road Safety Ambassadors, and school representatives from previous projects. 

In 2021, 475 pedestrians aged 5-20 were involved in road traffic accidents in Botswana, resulting in fatalities and injuries. Evidence-based methodology like SR4S can support the National Commitment for Child and Adolescent Well-being to reduce road accidents and fatalities in school zones in Botswana.

Building up on the success of the “Too Young to Die” Programme in 2019 and SARSAI project this year, EA991 will collaborate with SORSA, DRSCs, and other stakeholders to implement a new safe school zone project using SR4S and SARSAI in three schools located in Gaborone, Tsabong, and Letlhakane during 2023-2024. As part of the project, all Botswana District Road Safety Committees will also attend a training on SR4S methodology and tools to build their capacity to conduct SR4S assessments in their area of jurisdiction in the future.

The High-level Road Safety Stakeholders’ Forum in Botswana was a significant step towards ensuring child and adolescent safety in school zones. With the adoption of the UN Global Plan and the implementation of the SR4S and SARSAI methodologies, Botswana is making remarkable progress in improving road safety and protecting its young population.