Main islands to mark Road Safety Week By Mandy Bertin |10 November 2023
A series of activities will be organised on Mahé, Praslin and La Digue to mark this year’s Road Safety Week from November 19 to 25, under the theme ‘Let’s talk about speed’.
Details of the week-long programme were given yesterday during a press conference held at the land transport department at The Quadrant building in Victoria.
The activities have been compiled by a sub-committee of the Road Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC). The RSAC is a multi-sectorial committee that works to address issues related to road accidents.
Three members of the sub-committee – George Madeleine, Marie-May Larue and Julinio Nourrice – spoke about the various events to be hosted.
The Road Safety Week is marked annually with the aim of promoting more awareness on this subject and advocating for safer roads and responsible driving behaviour.
It is hoped that with more awareness, this will help to reduce road accidents and save lives by encouraging individuals, communities, and organisations to prioritise road safety measures such as responsible driving, pedestrian safety, and the need for improved road infrastructure.
Last year, there was a total of 18 fatal cases due to road accidents and this year to date, seven cases have been recorded.
The Ministry of Health is one of the partners on board and it is mainly concerned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number three (SDG 3), which is focused on good health and wellbeing.
“As long as we have road accidents and fatalities, we will not be able to achieve this goal. We need to embark on global plans such as the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, to help achieve the SDG 3, and reduce road deaths and injuries by at least 50% during that period,” Mr Madeleine said.
For us to achieve all this, we will have to embark on this journey and this is exactly what we are doing throughout this dedicated week. We will also have to embrace the Safe System Approach outlined in that plan, he added.
Its aim is to eliminate fatal and serious injuries for all road users.
Mr Madeleine said the first step for that week will be to call on all religious denominations through the Seychelles Inter-Faith Council, to remember the road traffic victims during their masses or prayer sessions to be held during the weekend of November 18-19.
The launch of this year’s Road Safety Week will be held at the Eden Bleu Hotel and a workshop on the Safe System Approach, targeting key partners.
During the same week, a poster competition for primary, secondary and post-secondary school students will be launched and winners will be announced early next year.
On November 22, there will be a special one-hour mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as from noon. The booklet to be used by the congregation will have contact numbers of various agencies that can offer support and counselling to those who have been affected or involved in a road traffic accident.
An interesting exhibition will be mounted at the gymnasium car park in Victoria and will open from 8am until 5pm, as well as a simulation exercise in the morning to showcase how different agencies respond to a road accident and what is done at the scene.
Sergeant Nourrice said part of the State House car park will be closed on November 22 as from 9pm until November 23, at 6pm. The gymnasium car park will also be closed on the same date but will reopen as soon as the simulation exercise is completed.
On Praslin and La Digue, there will be a similar exhibition, on a smaller scale, to be held at the Baie Ste Anne and La Digue fire stations. School children on both islands will also have the chance to learn more on road safety through talks.
Ms Larue said the Seychelles National Youth Council will launch the Road Safety Youth Ambassadors programme on November 24 and these individuals will be able to help in educating their peers and bring more awareness on road safety to those around them. A memorandum of understanding will also be signed between the council and the land transport department.
The last activity will be a sensitisation campaign in Victoria to help bring the message closer to members of the public and this will be held on November 25.
Members of the public are invited to come view the exhibition and learn as much as they can, as well as join in the special mass.