Road safety advocate Junior Jordan is calling for a comprehensive road safety educational programme for primary school students.
Jordan, a former president of the Barbados Road Safety Association, stressed that in light of the staggering number of road fatalities occurring this year – 14 – an early childhood education programme should be created by Government, private entities or non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
“It would do no harm for an educational programme to be done in all schools, even at the primary school level. At primary school level, the more solid knowledge you get there, when you get . . . up to teenage years the information will [remain] with them,” he said.
“When they get at the age of thinking of learning to drive, they will already be well grounded in the rudiments of safe driving.”
Making reference to the Canadian city of Edmonton which has a mobile safety city where toddlers are taught road safety procedures, Jordan stressed that individuals must be taught the value of a human life from an early age.
“We must get into every person’s head, whether you are a pedestrian, motorcyclist or a drive . . . that the single most important element in any road configuration is the human being. So whenever we go on the street we must be thinking of the human life first.
“You can replace buildings, you can replace a vehicle, you can replace furniture, but you cannot replace a life,” he said, adding that parents, guardians and other adults must set a good example for the children around them in that regard.
One of the instructors for the Barbados Light & Power’s (BL&P) Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Jordan recently accompanied the Barbados Fire Service and the Royal Barbados Police Force in educating students, aged 15 to 18, on the dangers of reckless driving.
Tackling the issue of increasing road accidents across Barbados, the board member of the Barbados Transport Authority insisted there was a need for information dissemination and retraining.
“The more information is disseminated in terms of safety for people, the better it will be, and we can certainly reduce or hopefully not see an increase in fatalities at this time,” Jordan said.
BL&P’s Managing Director Roger Blackman disclosed that the utility company saw it as its responsibility to execute the Distracted Driving Awareness Month initiative.
“At Light & Power we are proud of the safety culture that we have been able to build over the years and continue to work on . . . Driving safety and distracted driving is a major national issue and we wanted out voices to be heard,” he said.