Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2022. 10:22 am CST.
Contributed by the Ministry of Economic Development: Yesterday, Public Officers and the staff of the Municipal Bodies received certificates from the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Economic Development for having completed a three days Defensive Driving and First Responders’ Training, through The Second Road Safety Project Execution Unit of the MED. This training was facilitated by the Belize Institute of Management and delivered by Mr. Paul Schmidt, retired Acting Operations Officer for the Department of Transport, Mr. Tirso Galvez, retired Chief Transport Officer for the Department of Transport and team leader for the enforcement component of the First Road Safety Project in Belize and Mr. Javier Canul, experienced Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and First Responders Trainer.
Road traffic Incidents (RTIs) has emerged as a public health issue and the injuries and deaths caused are becoming alarming. RTIs cause considerable economic losses, not only to individuals, but to their families and the country as a whole; these losses are a result of the cost of treatment, a decrease in human capital in the workforce for those killed or disabled, and for family members who need to take time off from work or school to care for the injured.
As a result, the Second Road Safety Project’s objective for such training is to create awareness of road safety through education and training. Some aspect of road safety is knowing the laws of the road, how to maneuver and control your motor vehicle under various road conditions, time-space management, the basic principles of driving, and the effects of drinking and driving, among other areas. To complement the defensive driving component of the training, participants were also taught basic first responders’ techniques that can be of great assistance to victims of road traffic incidents.
In his closing remarks, CEO Martinez thanked all participants for partaking in the three days’ training as it shows initiative that road users want to be more responsible when driving. He challenged them to put in practice what was learnt and to transfer the knowledge. CEO Martinez also encourage the entire nation and all road users to take account of the road, not only for them, but for other drivers and pedestrians. A vehicle is equivalent to a weapon as it has the ability to injure and kill; from January to September of 2022, there has been 234 traffic incidents, with 63 fatalities and 94 serious injuries. The CEO stressed that these numbers are alarming, and the year is not over. One accident alone is too many! He reiterated that is expected that with continuous education and training, bad driving practices and habits on our roads can be curbed.
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