If you have lost someone in a road traffic incident, this bereavement booklet may help.
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Arrive Alive Road Wise Art & Essay Competition
Prize Giving Ceremony
Welcome Speech by Sharon Inglefield, President of Arrive Alive
Distinguished Minister, Distinguished Commissioner, Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, children, Good morning! I extend a particular welcome to our young people here today. Thank you all for attending the Arrive Alive Road Wise Art & Essay prize giving ceremony.
Before we get into the prize giving ceremony I would like to take a few minutes to share with you how Arrive Alive began and why we stay involved in road safety issues, and the significance of this competition. Our past presidents who were working in their private capacities as health and safety professionals saw the carnage steadily increasing on our nation’s roads, and they decided to form an NGO called Arrive Alive to campaign for greater road safety. They realized that action not talk was required to bring about change! We are here today to try to ensure that each one of you has the opportunity to realise your full potential and does not become another tragic statistic on our roads. Research shows that the best thing that can be done for novice (new young) drivers is to gain a theoretical and practical understanding of on-the-road supervised driving experience for at least 6 to 12 months!
The fact is that this Arrive Alive Road Wise Art & Essay competition is only a start to the conversation of road safety…. Each one of us in this auditorium must be responsible for their own safety and we can each make a difference.
So now let’s imagine the entire population of Trinidad & Tobago disappearing due to a preventable cause of death – Yes! Preventable, Avoidable!
According to the World Health Organization 1.3M people are killed on the world’s roads each year! Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury of our young people aged 4 through 34. Not AIDS, not heart, not respiratory disorder, not malaria! Young drivers in general are two to three times (2x-3x) more susceptible to experience a crash. During the first six months of obtaining the privilege of a drivers’ licence, young drivers become eight times (8x) more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than more experienced drivers.
But the fact is there is a cure! This is not cancer for which to date there is no real cure!
Wouldn’t we all be foolish not to buy into the medicine for road safety to avoid further injuries and fatalities? The cure is achievable, more especially, for a Country like Trinidad & Tobago with a relatively small population and available financial resources.
The Medicine - We need to:-
Educate All Road Users as well as enhance driver competency particularly for novice drivers. We need on-going awareness and educational campaigns and programmes until the statistics demonstrate a decrease in collisions and fatalities. We need to constantly evaluate our educational programmes to ensure their effectiveness;
Without ANY further delay - We need to enact a revamped Motor Vehicle Road Traffic Act to enhance novice driver competency and empower our TTPS providing them with enforcement training and tools required to effectively utilize the breathlyser; the linear guns; the cameras and the point system;
Empower the National Road Safety Council under the Ministry of Transport to develop a national road safety management plan and strategy with realistic and achievable targets by enhancing working committees who are accountable for their core competency;
Import safe vehicles by implementing a revamped vehicle assessment programme.
Commit to seatbelts in front and back seats of vehicles and also introduce 3 point seat belts in all our maxi taxis and buses and enforce regular inspection of all vehicles on our roads especially those over 3 years old! We can no longer compromise safety for convenience.
Make our nation’s roads safer and more forgiving by adopting the World Health Organization recommended allocation of 10% of our national road budget towards improved and safer road infrastructure!
Set strict timelines to eliminate high-risk roadways.
Standardize and provide better post-crash response to all victims – we urgently require the training of our local EMT B personnel to Emergency Medical Technicians EMT A or Paramedic status! What about an emergency telephone number for road crashes?
Enhance our emergency response services with the tools for crash investigation.
Establish an effective timely penal system to include traffic courts to alleviate the backlog of cases.
We must act quickly! This Decade of Action for Road Safety Belongs to Everyone! We are continuing to lose our loved ones! Without intervention the WHO says our injuries and fatalities will increase by 63% by 2020.
In Trinidad & Tobago (from 2007-2011) there were 173,000 reported road traffic collisions. This equates to 34,600 collisions per annum with as many as 200 fatalities. Over 11,000 persons were reported injured. Persons aged 15 yrs – 35 yrs accounted for 45% of the fatalities. 83% of which are young males! And 43% pedestrians! Every 16.8 minutes a collision occurs on our nation’s roads! Every hour spent on our roads means there is a 25% chance of a collision and therefore a 25% chance of serious injury or fatality. For 2012 - 163 lives have been lost on our roadways – a 3% increase over last year (159 lives lost). Young people you are most vulnerable!
Good behaviour on our roads must be taught in our homes, schools and neighbourhoods because each one of us is in danger of losing our life, or that of a loved one due to the selfishness, lack of respect, lawlessness and impatience for each other on our roads today. Even if we choose to drive defensively or to do the right thing we are still vulnerable. We must all truly believe that laws are there to protect us. This is all the more important for those of you our children, who are experiencing your first taste of freedom. There is an enormous amount of peer pressure from friends which greatly influences how we think and act. Please let your conscious be your guide and make the right choice by doing the smart thing!
Sunday November 18th, The United Nations remembers road traffic victims and their families and we ask that you reach out to all those you know who have suffered from the preventable loss of a loved one on our nation’s roads! Reach out and listen! Light a candle or let’s keep the deyas burning in their remembrance! Paste a photo of that loved one on the Chaguanas or San Fernando Borough Council Borough Walls dedicated to traffic victims! Acting eases the pain!
Road trauma is an immensely complex problem that cannot be solved by simple remedies. We need to move away from the old ‘blame the driver' mindset and promote a ‘holistic’ approach to road safety improvement.
Thank you once again Minister of Transport Chandesh Sharma for empowering the National Road Safety Council, thank you ACP S Williams for all your support, thank you Mr Bhadase Maharaj from the Ministry of Education, distinguished guests, participants, teacher, principals, and parents all who made the time for road safety. We congratulate each and every student for participating in our Road Wise Art & Essay Competition. We thank you all for helping us to continue to raise the awareness in our Country. You are all true winners by doing so!
Can you text and drive? Check out this video.
Decade of Action
Make Roads Safe
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