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PIA Press Release

Road safety seminar for gov't drivers tops GRSW activities in NorMin

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (24 April) -- A seminar on road safety for government drivers in Northern Mindanao will highlight the observance of the First United Nations "Global Road Safety Week (GRSW)" from April 23-29, 2007.

Held in two (2) batches of half-day sessions scheduled on April 24 and April 26, the seminar will be conducted at the Dept. of Public Works and Highways, region 10, Conference Room in Bulua, this city.

Regional Director Sinaolan T. Macarambon of DPWH-10 said the seminar will focus on the theme "Young Road Users" because these users, including young drivers, constitute a major group at risk of death, injury and disability on the road.

The GRSW, she said, will be observed as a platform for global, regional and especially, national and local activities to raise awareness about the road safety issues to stimulate and advance responses.

Topics of the seminar include the anti-car napping law, traffic rules and regulations, local ordinances, preventive equipment maintenance, defensive driving, anti- smoke belching and the strict implementation of the use of seatbelts, helmets and other concerns related to road safety.

The seminar will be held in collaboration with the Dept. of Health (DOH), Telecommunications Office (Telof) and Land Transportation Office (LTO), both of the Dept. of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Philippine National Police (PNP), Regional Traffic Management Office (RTMO), Road Traffic Authority (RTA) and other related agencies, Macarambon said.

Also included in the week-long observance is the conduct of free medical services like taking of blood pressure and blood letting which are held in coordination with the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).

Meanwhile, Macaranbon said the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have collaborated to organize the First UN GRSW.

Designating the GRSW is based on a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly during its 6th Session, particularly on "Improving Global Road Safety" commending WHO to act, working close cooperation with the UN regional commissions, as a coordinator on road safety issues within the UN system.

The move actually underlines the importance of member states to continue using the World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention as a framework for road safety efforts and implementing its recommendations by paying particular attention to the five risk factors identified.

These factors include the non-use of safety belts and child restraints, taking alcoholic drinks, non-use of helmets, inappropriate and excessive speed and the lack of appropriate infrastructure.

On the other hand, the GRSW also encourages UN member states to ensure a high level of road safety in their countries as well as to strive to reduce road traffic injuries and mortality in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

It also stresses the importance of the improvement in the international legal road traffic safety norms and invites member states to establish a lead agency, on a national level, on road safety to develop a national action plan to reduce road traffic injuries by passing and enforcing legislation, conducting necessary awareness-raising campaigns and monitoring and evaluating interventions that are implemented. (PIA 10) [top]

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