GIS - 12 September, 2018: The third meeting of the National Road Safety Commission, chaired by the Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence, Minister for Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, was held yesterday at the Sir Harilal Vaghjee Hall in Port-Louis, with a view to examining and adopting the National Strategy in regards to road safety.
Several eminent personalities including the Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport, Mr. Nandcoomar Bodha, the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr. Etienne Ghislain Sinatambou, the Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr. Purmanund Jhugroo, as well as the Commissioner of Police, Mr Karl Mario Nobin, attended the meeting.
In his remarks, Sir Anerood Jugnauth deplored the alarming situation as regards road traffic accidents despite the numerous initiatives taken at both governmental and private sector levels. He pointed out that since January 2018, some 116 persons have died as a result of road accidents, adding that every year 150 persons are victims of road fatalities while some 660 persons are seriously injured on our roads. He added that road fatalities not only cause grievances to the victims’ families but also result in social and economic costs, wherein it impacted to 1.5% of the GDP and cost Rs6 million in 2015.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth observed that factors such as indiscipline and careless road user behaviour, in particular young drivers who engage in highly risky road practices along with drunk driving contribute largely to road accidents. The alarming road situation of the country, he said, warrants constant monitoring, sustained concerted actions and innovative endeavours to effectively address the problem.
On that score, he emphasised that ensuring road safety remains a national urgency and priority for Government. By adopting a proactive stand, without making any compromise to implement strong measures on all fronts, Government is determined on clearly focusing equally on the main pillars of the National Road Safety Strategy which include education, engineering and law enforcement, he said.
According to the Minister Mentor, key Governmental measures such as sensitisation campaigns and the enforcement of the law, are bound to bring positive changes. Other measures in this regard, consists of: ensuring safe road infrastructure; creating road safety data base; implementing safety laws; and amending the Road Traffic Act for tougher fines and penalties.
Furthermore, Sir Anerood Jugnauth urged the Commissioner of Police to further reinforce police mobilisation and called for sustained severe actions in a bid to ensure that road traffic offenders are not left unpunished and to deter other potential offenders. He also appealed to all Ministers to favour a coordinated approach and work closely with the National Road Safety Council to implement National Road Safety Strategy, to pave the way for achieving the set target.
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