GIS - 26 September, 2019: The 4th edition of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) under the Chairmanship of the Minister Mentor and Minister of Defence and Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, was held, yesterday, at Le Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel, Port Louis.
The Vice Prime Minister and Minister of local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, and other other Ministers and various stakeholders involved in the National Road Safety Council were also present.
The aim is to take stock of the issues raised at the 3rd meeting of the NRSC and analyse the status of progress with regards the implementation of measures and actions pertaining to safety on roads and thereof to devise the right policies to reduce the number of fatalities due to road accidents.
In his address, Minister Mentor, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, recalled that four years back the pledge for road safety and security was initiated and added that since, various measures have been put in place for the safety of road users so as to ensure a better security on roads. He highlighted that the NRSC has also elaborated the Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2020 and a National Strategy with focus on ten pillars to address all issues related to road safety and security which is high on the agenda of the Government and also spoke of the synergy with the private sector in this endeavor.
He further pointed out that road accidents and its repercussions cost over Rs 8 billion every year to the Mauritian economy. Minister Mentor observed that the number of fatalities on roads have registered a decrease from 157 in 2017 to 143 in 2018 and 100 deaths as at date compared to 121 for the same period last year. However, he maintained that we should not rest on our laurels as the objective is to bring down the number of road fatalities to 50 per cent by 2025.
The most vulnerable on roads, he added, are the pedestrians whereby 40 % are involved in road accidents. Hence, he called for each and every one to demonstrate a sense of responsibility on roads and cautioned that a zero tolerance approach will be adopted for those bridging the law on road safety and security.
The Vice Prime Minister and Minister of local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, dwelt on the role of the local authorities under pillar 2 of the Road Safety National Strategy to ensure safer road infrastructures with regards non-classified roads as well as the management of public areas. She recalled that reducing road accidents remain a huge challenge to one and all while extending her full collaboration to the NRSC in bringing down the number of road accidents and fatalities.
For his part, the Public Infrastructure and Land Transport Minister, Mr Bodha spoke of the essence of road safety in the life of everyone. He further observed that until recently Mauritius did not have a National Strategy for road security but now Road Safety issues are being dealt with in a better structured approach as per the United Nations norms and regulations, he added. He expressed the political and national will of the Government in coming forward with the NRSC to fight the scorch of road accidents.
Other ministers present emphasised their involvement and role of their respective sector amidst the NRSC and spoke of the way forward to tackle the pressing issue of road safety with the adoption of preventive measures. The common element that they denoted is that road safety and security is a serious and important issue that concern all of us and the society at large and the impact of road accidents on the economy and the society at large.
The National Road Safety Commission was set up to define national objectives and goals, and determine policies and priorities regarding road safety projects and programmes. The NRSC held its first meeting on 18 May 2016.
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