In December, a significant event occurred in the life of BKA: the organization was awarded the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its innovative project implemented with the support of the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable transport (EASST) to teach children with disabilities the rules of safe behavior on the road.

For thirty years, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent has played a leading role in supporting improved road safety both in the UK and around the world. The Prince Michael international road safety award recognizes outstanding achievements and innovations in road safety worldwide.

Road traffic injuries are not only a cause of disability, people with disabilities are more at risk on the roads. The who world report on disability States that “people with disabilities are at a higher risk of unintentional injury as a result of road accidents”. Goal 11.2 of sustainable development provides for “creating safe, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, in particular by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those who are vulnerable: women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly”. Despite these facts, little attention is paid to the development of special road safety training materials for people with disabilities.

The BKA auto club has been working to achieve this goal since 2016. In 2017, the club conducted an innovative study of the problems faced by people with disabilities in Belarus. As a result of the study, it was found that due to the low level of available infrastructure and lack of proper attention on the roads by drivers and others, two-thirds of people with disabilities face difficulties in making daily trips. The main obstacles to safe mobility in the country were identified as “social attitudes” and lack of understanding on the part of other road users.

According to the Ministry of labor and social protection of the Republic of Belarus, there are about 500,000 disabled people in the country, of which 30,000 are children. The goal of the BKA auto Club project was to help these people navigate the roads and public transport safely through road safety training, and to influence a number of decision makers to encourage the long-term development of accessible infrastructure.

As part of the project, the BKA automobile Club adapted road safety training materials developed by EASST specifically for the needs of children with disabilities. These training materials are used as part of extracurricular and extracurricular activities in 35 schools, in total, about 700 children are trained. Feedback from teachers, parents and children themselves was very positive.

The BKA auto Club is particularly proud to create a video “Lessons of kindness”within the project. The film was made in cooperation with the public Association “Belarusian Association for assistance to disabled children and young people with disabilities” (NGO “Belapdiimi”) and is dedicated to various aspects of the life of people with disabilities in Belarus: inclusive education, employment of people with disabilities, the use of a clear language in everyday life. The film contains personal stories of people with disabilities, as well as comments from their family members, specialists who work with them, and representatives of government agencies.

Throughout the project, the BKA automobile Club has established a close relationship with the NGO”Belapdiimi”. Now the two organizations actively support each other by implementing a series of projects on disability and mobility.