Bahamas Behind In Road Safety Initiatives
NASSAU, The Bahamas – Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Aviation Hope Strachan said, on June 28, 2012, that The Bahamas’ National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) places “great emphasis” on the critical issue of road safety, with several ongoing and new initiatives planned.
“We have had successful programmes of Driver Education in the schools, catering to students in grades 10 and 11, road traffic department officers have been involved in youth symposiums and public awareness campaigns,” Minister Strachan said at a press conference held at the Ministry.
“During the summer months, this Ministry, through the Road Traffic Department, will engage in an aggressive public awareness campaign and invite public-private partnerships, as we as a nation encourage a walking and driving culture of safety.”
Minister Strachan added that, pending legislation concerning road rules and road safety is currently under review for tabling before Parliament.
“Additionally, we at the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and the Road Traffic Department, are one year behind schedule, with respect to a global initiative termed ‘The Decade Of Action For Road Safety’,” she added.
During her recent contribution to the Budget Debate, Minister Strachan said that the Initiative was launched in 100 countries, including many in the Caribbean, such as Jamaica and Barbados.
During the Debate she added that the initiative is to prevent five million deaths from traffic accidents in 10 years.
“If this initiative is implemented and we are able to increase awareness and decrease the numbers of deaths on our streets, we could count the programme a success,” Minister Strachan had said during the Debate.
At the June 28th press conference, Minister Strachan offered her “sincere condolences” to the family of the late Jimico Brown, who was The Bahamas’ 21st traffic fatality for this year. She said that the Government of The Bahamas and her Ministry, in particular, join the nation in prayerful support of his family.
“We, too, are saddened at the loss of any life, especially that of one of our precious and most promising youth,” she said.
“This recent tragedy involved an underage and uninsured driver, which brings to light the importance of the work of our Road Traffic Department and its Transport Policy and Planning Unit.”
Minister Strachan added that her Ministry is “very concerned” with the high incidents of reckless activity on the nation’s streets, especially from motorcyclists not wearing helmets and other protective gear, certain “road-hogging” bus drivers and those who have yet to master the art transiting the roundabouts and double-lane roads.
“I encourage all Bahamians to slow down and live, to look out for one another and to be courteous and to think while traversing our streets,” she said.
By ERIC ROSE
Bahamas Information Services