The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), through the RSIPF-AFP Policing Partnership Program (RAPPP), will commence a Traffic Safety Awareness program in selected schools throughout Honiara next Monday.
The RAPPP’s Health, Wellbeing, Community, Gender and Youth Engagement (HWCGYE) Project and the RSIPF’s National Traffic Centre identified six schools to participate in this awareness program.
The schools are; Coronation, St. Nicholas, Mbua Valley, Florence Young, Kukum SDA and Perch.
HWCGYE’s Team Leader, Kristina Sau’eha, said the Traffic Safety Awareness program focused on children aged five to eight who are attending schools located near the busy roads.
The RSIPF National Traffic Centre and AFP anticipate vehicle speeds will increase once the upgrade to Honiara roads are completed. The Pacific Games in November will likely also result in a surge in vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The awareness program will complement RSIPF’s National Traffic Centre mandate to protect vulnerable members of the travelling community.
The awareness program will cover areas such as demonstrating how to safely travel on a bus, how to exit a bus on busy roads, safe places to stand while waiting to cross the road, safely crossing the road, how to use seatbelts, introduction to RSIPF National Traffic Centre’s vehicles and police officers and providing general traffic safety tips.
A number of fun activities will be conducted to help children increase their knowledge and provide strategies to increase their safety when travelling to and from school.
Worldwide, nearly 220,000 children and adolescents aged 0 -19 years die annually due to road traffic injuries. That is more than 600 preventable road deaths among children and young people each day or a death almost every two minutes.
AFP RAPPP Advisor, Kevin Shaw, said the Traffic Safety Awareness program will be a fun and informative event designed to improve the safety of children when travelling to and from school.
“As road infrastructure improves vehicles tend to speed up and coupled with distracted drivers this can be dangerous for pedestrians. It is even more dangerous for our children who are smaller and can be difficult for drivers to notice,” Shaw said.
The awareness program will commence on 11th September and run through until mid-October.