Launch of RoadSafe Jordan Initiative
The move towards safer roads in Jordan starts with you.
That’s the idea being communicated by the RoadSafe Jordan initiative, which held its inaugural event this week in Mafraq City.
Over 260 school students from the local area attended the event, and were encouraged to speak out about the dangers of poor road safety. In 2015, there were 10,600 traffic accidents, in which 608 people were killed and 16,800 were injured.
Sessions on the causes and impacts of poor road safety were delivered to the audience by the mother of a road traffic accident victim, a doctor from Mafraq Government Hospital, and first responders from the Civil Defence and Public Security Directorate.
Three themes underlined these presentations and performances: the dangers of excessive speed, not wearing a seatbelt, and of using a mobile phone while driving. Indeed, many experts now believe that using a mobile phone whilst on the roads is just as dangerous as driving while drunk.
When asked how she felt after the event, student participant Maha Shdeifat, 15, said: “Each one of us should be aware and understand fully that the life of a human being is not a game. I shouldn’t destroy the life of anyone because I want to enjoy going fast, which is a momentary pleasure. I want to tell reckless drivers that life is too short to cause a deep wound in the heart of a mother, or cause a major loss for a father.”
Billy Dodds, Police Advisor on the UK Policing Support Team, added: “What we want is to start to change behaviour and encourage young men and women to challenge people to slow down, to tell their fathers to put their seatbelts on, and when their friends are driving – tell them not to use their mobile phone. Everyone can make a difference, young men and women in Jordan can make a difference to make the roads safer.”
The initiative will be rolled out in schools and universities in the coming months, with the next session scheduled to take place in front of 2000 students at the Al al-Bayt University in Mafraq on 10 October.