Road Safety Week 2023 officially launched |21 November 2023
By Mandy Bertin
A clear message should be sent to those who use the road – be more aware of the risks and dangers.
This message comes from the Minister for Transport, Anthony Derjacques, in his speech to launch this year’s Road Safety Week under the theme ‘Let’s talk about speed’.
Speaking at the Eden Bleu Hotel yesterday morning, Mr Derjacques said there is a need to come forward with determination to succeed in this fight for road safety adding that there is a need to provide the people with additional knowledge and skills so that they can safeguard themselves and others from avoidable acts of negligence that hurt all of us as road users.
He noted that the increase in the number of road accidents should be a major concern for everyone.
“The unfolding situation is very unfortunate because the Ministry of Transport is currently improving the roads infrastructure with the objective of enhancing road safety,” he said.
We must now consider adopting the ‘Safe System Approach’ as other countries are doing, the minister added.
The Safe System Approach aims to eliminate fatal and serious injuries for all road users. It does so through a holistic view of the road system that first anticipates human mistakes and second keeps impact energy on the human body at tolerable levels.
The key focus of the Safe System Approach is to reduce death and serious injuries through design that accommodates human mistakes and injury tolerances.
During the launch, the principal secretary for the department of land transport, Patrick Andre, gave a presentation on the global and local situation in regards to road safety. In his presentation, he pointed out that in 2023, 1892 accidents to date have been registered, with seven fatalities.
Mr André noted that there has been an increase in accidents involving motorcycles and scooters.
This year, March was the month with the most accidents, totalling to 255. According to statistics presented, there are more male individuals involved in accidents. The main problems in regards to road safety highlighted during the presentation, included a lack of data to undertake proper assessment and evaluation of accidents, resources to carry out projects, funding, enforcement and education. There was also a need to revise the road safety policy to incorporate the Safe System Approach in it.
Mr André noted the way forward was to introduce and carry out this strategy, adding that it was equally important to introduce road safety education in schools, which needs to be integrated into existing subjects, upgrade the Vehicle Testing Station, train school wardens, revise policies and the Highway Code as well as to establish a proper database to work with, so as to come up with effective measures, among other aspects.
In an interview, Mr André said the situation in Seychelles was quite alarming as a lot of young people are involved in accidents.
He called on members of the public to be more careful and responsible especially during the upcoming festive season. A training session for key partners on the introduction of the Safe System Approach was held after the launch ceremony.
Photos by Louis Toussaint