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Feb 4, 2020

Road Safety Project II Donates 6 Highway Patrol Trucks

Last year, Belize received funds through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank to execute the Second Road Safety Project.  You’ll recall that from 2013 to 2018, the first road safety project was carried out to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with traffic accidents along a demonstration corridor on the George Price Highway. The second road safety project is seeking to do more through the Road Safety Master Plan 2030.  Today, the project handed over six trucks to be used along the highways to help with enforcement as outlined in the master plan. Here’s more on today’s handing over ceremony with Andrea Polanco.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Second Road Safety Project handed over six new, fully equipped highway patrol vehicles to the Department of Transport. These six trucks are a small but important part of the road safety management plan 2030. Two of the trucks were handed over to traffic officers in Cayo; and one each for Toledo, Stann Creek, Orange Walk and Corozal. Transport and road safety officials expect that these trucks will be used to help make Belize’s roads safer.

 

Tirso Galvez

Tirso Galvez, Chief Transport Officer, Ministry of Transport

“Our aim is to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic crashes. In this particular event today, to educate the general public and to improve road safety practices in Belize as we continue to strengthen enforcement.  These six highway patrol vehicles are well-equipped; have a four-year insurance plan and a four year maintenance plan built in. We are building our capacity to conduct enforcement on a more frequent basis as road safety matters. Road safety is everybody’s business. We continue on our path to work with the general public and transfer road safety knowledge so as to create the environment of good road safety behaviors when using Belize’s road system.”

 

Minister of Transport Edmond Castro says that highway patrol trucks have proven to be effective in curbing the number of fatal road crashes along the western corridor. He adds that new trucks will help to enforce safety to reduce traffic accidents along the highways across the country.

 

Edmond Castro

Edmond Castro, Minister of Transport

“Over the past several years as we received the first two highway patrol trucks, of which we are still proud of, that highway patrol on the western corridor significantly reduces deaths on our highways, especially on this corridor. You know why? Most of us don’t like police put on their light behind us, so when the highway patrol put on light and run down the highway, you who were doing eighty starts to quickly reduce to sixty and then fifty-five like you used to. But it helps, just by having those highway patrol’s out there, according to this data, we went from thirty deaths a year to nine deaths a year on the George Price corridor. Hence, with this new fleet of vehicle, we will be able to experience more reduction on the northern corridor from Belize City to the northern border. We will also have highway patrol on the coastal highway.”

 

Co-Chair of the National Road Safety Committee Yvonne Hyde says that compliance with road safety laws remain a problem for Belize but it will take a number of approaches and partners to address road safety in the country.

 

Yvonne Hyde

Yvonne Hyde, Co-Chair, National Road Safety Committee

“The traffic culture in Belize has been changing, but we acknowledge that more effort is still required, particularly in the area of enforcement. We need to focus on the area of enforcement. We also acknowledge the importance for sustainability purposes, of the efforts in the technical line ministries. A subject as road safety is multisectoral; it is not just building the road or providing equipment. It is the combination of several things, education, health, enforcement and the infrastructure.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


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