Vanuatu Launches Road Safety Campaign

Global Road Safety Week celebrated for first time

By Anita Roberts

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 11, 2017) – Vanuatu celebrated the Global Road Safety Week for the first time yesterday.

Initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Road Safety Week aims to stimulate community involvement in promoting road safety awareness.

Based on the theme: ‘Save lives, slow down’, this year’s event focus on speed, a factor that contributes to around one-third of global fatal road traffic crashes.

The global road safety week runs from May 8 to 14 every year since 2010.

This year, it seeks to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and generate action measures to address speed, therefore, save lives on the roads.

In Vanuatu, road accidents happen almost every day in Port Vila, the Deputy Police Commissioner Operation, George Songi, was addressing yesterday’s event.

“The number of vehicles in Port Vila and Luganville has increased.

“Accidents happen and people die.

“People sustain injuries and some became disabled.

“The reason is that drivers and pedestrians are not respecting road safety conditions.

“Some of these simple road conditions are; road signs, drinking while driving, using mobile phone while driving, and not putting seat belt, driving very fast during bad weather and wearing dark clothes.”

According to the Police Traffic Unit, 40% of road traffic accidents in Vanuatu are a result of driving too fast.

Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), through its traffic section, will be educating the young generation about the importance of road safety before they reach the age of driving, said Commissioner Songi.

The road safety week aims to address speed by raising awareness about the dangers of speed.

In his speech, the Minister of Health (MOH), Jerome Ludvaune, urged all stakeholders with responsibilities related to road safety to make the road safety week a community event next year.

“Bring it to the community where people can be educated on the topic. Road safety is a life issue,” he added.

Minister Ludvaune requested the organizers to consider hosting the event annually. He then launched the national road safety campaign.

The government of Australia, through its ‘Stretem Rod Blong Jastis’ program in Vanuatu, MOH, Pro-Medical, WHO, the Fire Brigade and VPF are applauded for making the event a success.

Since yesterday, the police has been rolling out awareness to schools and communities on how to use the road safely.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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