GIS - 10 December, 2015: “We have all a big responsibility: that of pulling together the right strategies to decrease the death toll on our roads and ensure maximum safety to drivers and other road users.”
This call of action was issued by the Prime Minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, yesterday, at the opening of the consultative workshop on the National Road Safety Strategy 2015-2025, and the launching of the National Road Safety Campaign, ‘Towards zero death and serious injuries on our roads 2015-2025’, at Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebène.
The Prime Minister called on the population to act as he recalled the number of deaths and injuries on our roads with a total of 739 persons killed and 2,575 persons seriously injured between 2010 and 2014. "The physical and emotional impacts of these road traumas on individuals, families and friends involved are incalculable,” he underlined.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth also stressed the financial burden of road crashes on the community as it has been estimated that road crashes cost the Mauritian economy about 1.5% of the GDP, equivalent to over Rs 6 billion per annum in terms of loss of productivity, medical costs, property damage and administrative costs.
Stating that Government is fully conscious that bold actions need to be taken to address this problem, the Prime Minister highlighted the need to effectively tackle road crashes by enhancing the capacity of road safety institutions and adopting a National Road Safety Strategy. Sir Anerood Jugnauth, in addition, urged for the quick re-engineering of the driver’s training and licensing scheme.
The Prime Minister listed the measures already being implemented to effectively make the roads safer. They are namely: making road safety a national priority; the creation of the national inter-ministerial Road Safety Commission to define the broad outlines of a national policy for road safety; the appointment of a road safety coordinator to, among others, advise Government on road safety policies; the reactivation of the National Road Safety Council composed of stakeholders from the public and private sectors as well as the civil society to advise on all road safety projects; the replacement of the Penalty Points System by a mechanism to deter road traffic infractions and promote responsible driving; the overhauling of the Police Traffic branch; and major road infrastructure projects to alleviate road congestion and modernise the road infrastructure.
For his part, the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, reiterated that road safety concerns all Mauritians and that everyone has to act to put a stop to the loss of lives on the roads. Mr Bodha pointed that a change of behaviour with a focus on vigilance and respect is required. He added that the National Road Safety Strategy 2015-2025 would be presented early next year to the National Road Safety Commission, chaired by the Prime Minister.
It is noted that the tagline of the National Road Safety campaign ‘Towards zero death and serious injuries on our roads 2015-2025’, is ‘Mobilize pou sekirite nou sime, Mo dakor!’ (Mobilising the community to promote road safety, I agree!). The campaign aims at preventing road accidents and saving lives on roads by raising awareness of road users and reminding them of their responsibilities.