|Chairperson of the National Mirror Committee for the Road Traffic Safety Management Systems Standard, Cheryl Bennett-Inniss, receives the Standard from BNSI Chief Technical Officer, Fabian Scott. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??|
Road safety will continue to be a priority in Barbados, and the Road Traffic Safety Management Systems Standard, which was launched yesterday at the Ministry of Transport and Works, will be an integral part of reaching this goal.
Chairperson of the committee for the Standard, and Deputy Chief Technical Officer, Cheryl Bennett-Inniss, explained that the journey of the document, officially called ISO 39001, began when Barbados was represented at the First global Ministerial Conference on Road safety which was held in Moscow in November 2009.?? That event resulted in the Moscow Declaration, which invited the United Nations General Assembly to declare the decade 2011-2020 as the ???Decade of Action for Road Safety’, to which Barbados is signatory.
"The ISO Standard will assist Barbados in the formation of a Road Safety Management System using a more comprehensive and holistic approach involving drivers (training and licensing), management of vehicle quality, management of the roads, management of transport services, enforcement, judicial action, accident control and insurance, research and information and education and communications," she said.
Noting that the island had formally launched the Barbados National Road Safety Council in February 2012, the Chairperson stressed that this did not suggest road safety work was not happening prior to the existence of these entities, but now a more collaborative approach was being introduced to the matter."
Mrs. Bennett-Inniss also observed that road safety was a public policy issue of major concern and said the Committee would be continuing to implement effective interventions so that road traffic fatalities, injuries and related human suffering were reduced significantly. "I can assume that the various members and associate members of the Committee and Council would redouble efforts to increase cooperation and foster more partnerships and provide effective education on road safety awareness to the public," she said.
She noted that increased focus would be on strengthening pre-hospital and emergency services in order to provide "timely and appropriate care to road traffic-injured patients;?? improve the collection management and use of data on road deaths and injuries so as to formulate evidence-based policies; [and] ensure the enactment and enforcement of laws associated with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs; inappropriate and excessive speeding; non-use of helmets;…and the use of mobile phones."
Mrs. Bennett-Inniss also stated that the Ministry of Transport and Works was in the process of planning for the International Road Federation’s (IRF) 2nd Caribbean Regional Congress, to be held in mid-May in Barbados.?? The event will address both climate change/disaster mitigation and road safety, with presentations from local, regional and international organisations.??
Additional information on the IRF may be found at http://www.irfnet.org/.