The Saint Lucia Fire Service (SLFS) has highlighted the need for safety on the road as the world observes November as Road Safety Month.
So far for the year, Saint Lucia has recorded 20 road fatalities due to 18 collisions.
In a statement for Road Safety Month, Station Officer Fernando James, the SLFS EMS Manager, outlined a number of measures road users can take to reduce or prevent accidents.
His complete statement appears below:
For this month November 2022, around the world has been recognized as road safety month.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank had launched a Decade of Action for Road Safety in 2011 with the goal of halving the number of injuries and deaths on the roads worldwide.
Again, various mitigations need to be employed to prevent or limit or reduce on the number of incidents and accidents on our roads.
Pedestrians and motorists alike should:
* Obey traffic rules
* Observe pedestrian crossings
*And of course, maintain a high vigilance for when children and the elderly are crossing the roads.
* Adopt antiskid braking systems in our cars, so that the risk of cars skidding can be reduced.
*It is important that all air bags are available in vehicles and, of course, they are functional.
* Avoid drugs and alcohol while driving.
* Falling asleep behind the wheel has led to many grave mishaps on our roads and therefore, drivers must rest well as a lack of this can have an adverse effect on mental alertness, slow down reflexes, and even cause momentary sleepiness behind the wheel.
In addition to this, motorcycle awareness is very important, as we may have seen there has been an upsurge in motorcycle incidents, including deaths. A motorcycle crash is a violent event. So:
*New riders, take a motorcycle safety course.
* Know the rules of the road
*Drive defensively, especially at intersections.
*Watch for hazards like potholes, manhole covers, oil slicks and puddles.
*Assume you are invisible to other motorists and position yourself to be seen
*Use your headlights both day and night when applicable
* Don’t speed – definitely do not speed.
*Wear bright, reflective, and protective clothing
* Wear goggles, glasses or use a face shield applicable to the helmet
In the end, road safety is a collective energy between the government and people of this country.
While the government must leave no pebble unturned in ensuring proper conditions of the roadways and enforcing strict adherence to traffic policies, responsible acuity in driving, and the right attitudes of the country’s citizens both drivers and pedestrians alike with respect to traffic rules is perhaps the first step on the long road to 100% safety on the roads.
Headline photo: Stock image