DRTSS and Lafarge Mw sensitize learners on road safety

Written by  Mc Donald Gondwe

The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services in collaboration with Lafarge Malawi   is set to reduce or even halt road accidents among school going children in the country.

13
May


In line with the National Road Safety Strategy the two institutions are going to schools which are close to main roads with preventive messages on road accidents.


Speaking during a road safety awareness campaign to learners surrounding Chikangawa Trading Centre in Mzimba, Chief Road Transport Officer responsible for safety awareness in the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services, James Gumulira said they are targeting schools that are along the main roads as they are prone to road accidents.


“The message we impart in them may not have a direct impact on them but as time goes they are able to get something which helps them use the roads without problems,” said Gumulira.


 “We are also painting pedestrian crossings on strategic points, teach their teachers to guide the children during peak hours in the morning and the time they knock off from school, through the campaign we also train police officers to responsibly respond to some emergencies among others,” he added.


Gumulira also appealed to local authorities to take a leading role in safeguarding road signs and furniture in the country.


“What people need to know is that road signs guide the road users, hence its absence is a recipe for accidents because drivers  may not know the situation of the road ahead of them; whether they are approaching a trading center, a school or any other accident prone area,” said Gumulira.


The pact with Lafarge Malawi dates back to 2017 and the awareness campaign is one of the activities to help minimize road accidents which are always costly.


Lafarge Malawi Health and Safety Manager Andry Andriamanantena has promised continued mutual working relationship with government in as far as reduction of roads accidents in the country is concerned.


“We are concerned when we lose lives due to roads accidents, that’s why we want to support government in reducing road accidents; as a company, our vehicles are mostly on the roads which means we are a party to whatsoever happens on the road,” noted Andriamanantena.


Meanwhile, District Education Manager in Mzimba South, Fanuel Chiwowa said the activity is inline with government’s standards of providing conducive learning environment for children both in and off class.


Statistics shows that at least 800 accidents happen on the roads of Malawi on yearly basis majority of which involves school going children who sometimes fail to observe road instructions.  


During the awareness meetings, learners are informed on basics when using the road through theory and practical experience.


The two institutions are set to organise similar activities in all districts across the country with the pilot phase to reach out to Mchinji, Karonga, Mzimba and some schools in the Southern region.

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