Road safety week launched at ICC By Sonia K

The first United Nations Global Road Safety Week, themed "Road Safety Is No Accident", was officially launched yesterday morning by Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna as the Patron of the Brunei Darussalam Road Safety Council.

Five elements of road safety were highlighted at the event and will be given a stronger focus this year to improve road safety in the Sultanate. These include fastening of seat belts, to curb speeding, usage of mobile phones while driving, wearing the proper helmet for both motorcyclists and cyclists and the utilisation of pedestrian crossings.

The one-week event, organised by the Brunei Darussalam Road Safety Council and Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) Company Sdn Bhd, began yesterday and will be held until April 29 at the International Convention Centre (ICC).

The event started with a welcoming remark by Dato Paduka Haji Md Yusof bin Haji Md Hassan, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications, who is also Chairman of Brunei Darussalam Road Safety Council.

The function continued with a "sabda" by HRH Princess Hajah Masna and the launching of the Brunei Darussalam Road Safety Council's website.

One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of prizes by the guest of honour to the winning schools that took part in Brunei Shell Petroleum Road Traffic Game. It was held on March 18 at the newly built Brunei Shell Petroleum Road Traffic Game park at the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre (OGDC) in Seria.

Sekolah Menengah Muda Hashim emerged as the game champion, while first and second runner-up were Sekolah Tinggi Perempuan Raja Isteri and Sekolah Menengah Pg Jaya Negara Pg Hj Abu Bakar of Belait District, respectively.

After the ceremony, HRH consented to view the road safety exhibition that was put up to further promote the five key actions to members of the public. The exhibition is open to the public until Sunday. There will also be live radio quizzes from the ICC broadcast by Radio Television Brunei's radio networks throughout the exhibition.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the exhibition and take part in the road safety quizzes. Various attractive prizes will also be given to those who answer the questions correctly, which will focus on the information displayed in the exhibition.

To gain maximum outreach to the community, the exhibition will also be showcased in other districts sometime later in the year.

Meanwhile, a seminar on road safety will be held today at the Main Conference Hall of the ICC, which will present various topics and issues on road safety.

The key speaker for the seminar is a representative from the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute on Swedish Road Safety Management ad, the "Vision Zero".

Among other topics to be presented at the event include "Road Traffic Accident - An Epidemic?" from a health perspective, Best Practices and Road Transport Safety Standard and Compliances in BSP and Shell and Safety Consideration of Vehicles on the Road by the Land Transport Department.

Participants will comprise officials from various government ministries and departments, students, as well as private sector and non-governmental organisations.

Members of the public are also invited to attend this seminar.

BSP, the collaborating agency of this campaign, contributed to this initiative as part of the company's ongoing social investment activities. The underlying factor is based on the company's view on safety, which is its number one priority.

This also gives the company the opportunity to work together with government agencies to support the nation's continuous efforts on road safety. - Borneo Bulletin (24th April 2007)