SPANA has been working with the Romanian Children’s Humanitarian Foundation to help protect horses and their owners by providing free reflectors for horse-drawn carts to increase their visibility on the roads.
SPANA has funded the project since 2013, and over this two-year period, almost 9,000 reflectors have been fitted to horse-drawn carts in Romania’s second largest county of Suceava. The area is home to a large number of rural communities and an estimated 12,000 horse-drawn carts provide valuable transport to many of its poorest residents.
The reflectors, which are now attached to around 75% of the county’s carts, have already made a great impact, with a significant decrease in fatal road accidents since the project began.
As well as providing reflectors, the project coordinators and local police provide on-the-spot advice and education for cart owners on road safety and the importance of good visibility at night or in the poor weather conditions that are commonplace during the winter months.
Following the completion of the project, Brian Douglas who coordinated the project said:
Thanks to SPANA’s wonderful support, horse and cart owners are in a much safer position in terms of road safety here in Suceava County. The project has benefited all road users and has offered a serious mode of protection to those that are the poorest. For just £1, the reflectors offer visibility to others, helping to prevent accidents and save the lives of horses and their owners. The project has been such a success that some other Romanian counties are also starting to provide reflectors to their horse and cart users.