With the increase in number of fatalities caused by traffic accidents along the highways around the country, the Government of Belize is investing more in making roads safer. Progress seems slow, but people are the center of the efforts because of the nature to save lives on the roads.
The Government of Belize, within the scope of the Belize Road Safety Project, last week officials conducted a monitoring exercise on Friday, February 21, 2014, along the demonstration corridor from Belize City to Belmopan. The Government of Belize is undertaking this project in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank with the hope to implement sound road safety measures that will contribute to saving lives on Belize's road system.
This is a first phase of a long-term initiative by the Government of Belize to improve road safety in the country with an overall objective to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic collisions/accidents along a demonstration corridor by 20% in 2016.
Can Belize road users reach the target? Government is encouraging Belizeans to mark a new beginning for all citizens through positive ways in driving, walking, running, riding on bicycle, riding on motorcycle, among other movements on the road.
Drivers are encouraged to consider the following as they prepare for a new tomorrow:
1. Inspect your means of transportation before you travel to ensure that your lights are working, brakes in good condition, tires are in good condition for the highway, wipers working, among others
2. If you're traveling with your children, be sure to use a restraint system that is appropriate for your child's height and weight. Make it a point to read the manufacturer's usage guidelines to ensure that you're doing it right. Also, it would be wise to keep your kids in the back seat of your vehicle buckled up properly (no matter how short your trip may be). If you are in an opened back pickup or a truck, try your best not to put children in the pan of the moving vehicle.
3. Take time to clear all mud/brambles from the hood, roof, windows and lights of your vehicle and bring with you a good supply of windshield washer fluid. Also, ensure that your tires are properly inflated. An extra tire and a complete set of car tools in the trunk can go a long way in case of flat tires.
4. Do not drink and drive: road traffic crashes and collisions related incidents keep rising. It is as simple as this: Safety is in your hands! Wouldn't you want to arrive alive amigo/amiga?
5. Give way to ambulances, fire engines, police vehicles and highway patrol vehicles. If you're traveling and see ambulances, fire engines, police vehicles and highway patrol vehicles, make sure you give them the right away and a free way by signaling with your indicator to alert other drivers behind you and pulling off the road.
After a two days intense training in Traffic Management through the Social Investment Fund road traffic management initiative, some Officers will be testing skills on the demonstration corridor.
Areas targeted are speeding and under the influence of alcohol. Why? When it comes to causes of fatal accidents, careless driving is the number one cause. Followed by a cause that cannot be interpreted in more than one way, driving under the influence of alcohol, which is the second most common cause of fatalities for road collisions/crashes in Belize.
Traffic officials in Belize will be conducting monitoring on the demonstration corridor and at the same time testing equipment to measure the extent of drink-driving by using the Breath Alcohol Tester and to measure speed by using the speed guns.