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The Road Safety Unit (RSU) is reporting a 30% reduction in road fatalities since the start of the year.
The Unit has reported that to date, there have been 112 fatalities, 49 less than the 161 fatalities recorded over the same period last year. There has also been a 26 percent decline in fatal crashes, down from 142 to 106 over the same period.
Child fatalities declined by 21 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. So far 11 children have died, compared to 14 last year.
While pleased with the decline in child fatalities, the RSU is emphasizing that children must be empowered with road safety knowledge and the correct attitude, in order to operate effectively in the traffic environment.
Pointing to the Children Against Reckless Driving (CARD) campaign, launched recently by the Unit, RSU Acting Director, Julian Thompson, noted that children have powerful voices and can positively influence the road behaviour of adults.
The campaign, which targets children aged seven to 12 years old, provides an opportunity for children to showcase their artistic skills, by dedicating specially designed cards to persons who, in their eyes, portray safe motoring skills and embody the characteristics of good motorists or road models.
“They bring a fresh perspective to things and give us a reason to pause and think. The vigour with which the children have embraced the CARD campaign and are highlighting their road models is proof of this,” Mr. Thompson said, lauding the support children have given to the effort.
“At a time like now, when the road fatalities are trending downwards, I genuinely hope that adults or ‘big people’, as the children like to say, heed their message and be a road model, not a road clown,” he stated.
The Road Safety Unit has also observed a reduction in other categories of fatalities. Since the start of the year, there has been a 45 percent reduction in deaths among Private Motor Carriage (PMC) drivers, down from 33 to 18. PMC passengers’ fatalities have also decreased by 37 percent, moving from 27 in 2009 to 17 in 2010. There has been a remarkable decrease in motorcyclist deaths, from 24 to 14.
There has, however, been a 10 percent increase in pedestrians’ deaths, from 43 in 2009 to 48 this year.
Mr. Thompson appealed to motorists to drive with care and to look out for pedestrians, while traversing the nation’s roadways. He also urged pedestrians to use the sidewalks and crossings and exercise greater care when walking on the roads.