Moldova

Using Geospatial Data to Ameliorate Road Safety Issues in Moldova

At a glance

Country

Moldova

ProJECT YEAR

2023

STAKEHOLDERs

National Public Security Inspectorate (INSP), the State Road Administration (ASD), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

KEYWORDS

Road safety; Car accidents; Geospatial data; Real-time data; Data analytics; Digital map

Region

Europe

SECTOR

Transport

DATA SOURCE

Geospatial data, National Public Security Inspectorate (INSP) and the State Road Administration (ASD) of Moldova

SDG

SDG 3, SDG 11

The Challenge

In recent years, the Republic of Moldova has witnessed a noticeable fluctuation in the number of car accidents. A brief overview of car accident data from 2014 to 2022 reveals periods of significant increase and periods of significant decrease. While the numbers peaked in 2017 with 2,640 accidents, the 2,292 car accidents in 2022 represents an 11% increase from 2021 and by October 2023 the nation had already recorded 1,333 accidents. These alarming figures underline an urgent need for intervention.

The Approach

In response to the rising numbers the National Public Security Inspectorate (INSP) and the State Road Administration (ASD) created a digital map of road accidents. Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), this map offers a detailed insight into traffic accidents. It highlights their types and causes and integrates data related to road conditions, such as a “flatness index”, the geometry of the road’s layout and the type of road surface.

The Benefits

There are a number of different benefits for different kinds of users. For drivers, it provides an informed decision-making tool that enables them to choose safer routes. For public institutions, it supports them in planning infrastructure upgrades, analysing traffic patterns and enhancing road safety. This data-driven initiative also facilitates transparent communication and exchanges between institutions and aids in the continual development of the road network.

Moreover, the training provided to the National Public Safety Inspectorate (INSP) employees boosts their ability to locate and report accidents efficiently, which enables a more holistic approach to accident management.

11%

In Moldova, there was a 11% increase of car accidents from 2021 to 2022.

The context​

Over the years, various fluctuations and trends have occurred that shed light on the situation with respect to road safety: between 2015 and 2023 the danger posed by roadways ebbed and flowed with no real pattern. What remained consistent was the notable proportion of children among the affected, increasing the urgency for more focused safety measures and interventions.

How can better data contribute to better policy?

Better data, acquired through detailed mapping and analytics, can fundamentally reshape the policies surrounding road safety. This project created a platform that enhances the collection, management and real-time analysis of road crash data, and enables coordination between various agencies such as the police, health care providers and government entities. This represents a significant step in making roads safer. It further contributes to better policy in the following ways:

  1. Holistic understanding: The comprehensive database can provide a holistic understanding of the root causes of accidents. By geo-referencing road incidents, policymakers can identify specific locations prone to accidents and investigate the underlying reasons, be it road design, signage or other factors.
  2. Focused interventions: Using the data from the platform, authorities can prioritize resources and interventions to the most vulnerable demographics and areas of highest need. For instance, the consistently high number of child victims from 2015 to 2023 can drive policies that focus on school zones, pedestrian training for children and campaigns targeting young drivers.
  3. Informed decision-making: Real-time data enables real-time decision-making. People can make decisions immediately based on the current conditions, thus ensuring that choices they made to reduce accidents and save lives do indeed do so.
  4. Performance evaluation: The platform provides a means to monitor and evaluate road safety performance continuously. By comparing the outcomes of implemented strategies with real-time data, policymakers can quickly assess the effectiveness of current measures and recalibrate them as needed.
  5. Public awareness: The accessibility of such data can foster public awareness and involvement. When communities are well-informed, they can play an active role by adhering to safety regulations and encouraging others to do so, and even by participating in creating and revising policies.
  6. Stakeholder collaboration: With multiple agencies accessing and contributing to the same database, there is an opportunity for increased collaboration. Shared knowledge and resources can lead to more comprehensive and impactful solutions.

In essence, enhanced data does not just offer a clearer picture of the current situation; it provides a roadmap for the future. It is the compass by which we can navigate the complexities of road safety, ensuring that each decision, policy and intervention is rooted in evidence and has the best chance of making a real, tangible difference. The collaboration between UNDP/GIZ, INSP and ASD exemplifies this approach and offers hope for safer roads for everyone.

Where do we go from here?

While the current efforts mark a significant stride in the right direction, the journey towards making Moldovan roads safer is ongoing. The continuous evaluation of geospatial data will guide the next steps in infrastructure planning. Recognizing the potential of real-time data of this kind, UNDP has taken the initiative a step further.

In collaboration with INSP and ASD, UNDP is in the process of developing another platform to augment the collection, management, analysis and reporting of road crash data. Not just restricted to reporting, this platform will also serve as an analytical tool.  It will highlight opportunities for safety improvements in both road and roadside infrastructure.

With these advancements, the hope is to further curtail accidents, ensuring an even safer transit environment for all citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

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