Walking and driving in Tbilisi is dangerous and stressful. Both drivers and pedestrians are prone to violating rules, disregarding traffic signs and showing lack of respect to each others’ rights. Georgian drivers are notorious for speed driving and violating traffic rules. Pedestrians on the other hand show little recognition of traffic signs, like jaywalking and the drivers’ rights.
According to WHO and World Bank data, Georgia has the third highest rate of car traffic casualties in Europe. 30-40% of all traffic accidents involve pedestrians, and as statistics of the “Georgia Alliance for Safe Roads” show, the number of car accidents involving pedestrians is increasing.
Zebra crossings help both drivers and pedestrians, but many pedestrians do not acknowledge or use them. Instead, they jaywalk at the closet opportunity instead of using the zebra crossing. Those who use the crossing have to wait patiently for the polite cars to give in the way, which may take a lot of time, or they move forward despite approaching cars.
While the problem is large-scale and affects entire Georgia, I’d love to focus on three areas in Tbilisi and tackle the problem with a short traffic rules awareness campaign. These three areas are the zebra crossings on the following locations: Leselidze-Dadiani streets; Marjanishvili street at McDonalds, and a zebra crossing on Pekini street (at Holiday Inn and Sports Palace).
The campaign includes three events, once every month from November till January. A group of at least 12 volunteers, around 4 in each group will be stationed on the locations. They will be wearing zebra T-shirt with a message “mind the zebra crossing!” to attract attention.
They will distribute small fliers to pedestrians and drivers, 100 fliers to each at every event. In total, 600 fliers will be distributed. In addition, we will carry small flags with zebra pattern fabric and encourage the pedestrians, mostly children, to carry them across when they cross for greater visibility.
Each event will be accompanied with social media publicity, as we will post photos of decent drivers and pedestrians, assuming they give us permission. We will also post photos of the children carrying zebra flags and raise awareness of the campaign, the issue and the proposed solution.
Each group will have around 20 flags. We will keep the flags until the third final event to raise the awareness of its use and get people’s mindset somewhat prepared for its usage.
At the final event, we will either leave the flags into the boxes, fastened to the electricity poles at the roadside or let the children take them with them, if Tbilisi Municipality does not give us proper permission. We will use around 100 flags but at least twice as many people will be at these events.
Behavioral change takes time, but we believe that campaigns like this will affect people’s thinking, and especially influence children, as they know the traffic rules from an early stage and realize its importance.
Equal gender opportunity:
We will involve volunteers of both genders, and hopefully, everyone will benefit from having safer streets.
Fliers for pedestrians and drivers with a message
Flags with zebra design which we will give pedestrians when crossing. Will be stored and attached to columns in a box.
20 T-shirts which volunteers involved in the campaign will wear, to grant people's attention. The t-shirts will also have the same message and zebra design.
Tamarashvili Street 15(+995 32) 231 18 37