Ministry supports Eleuthera's road safety promotions
Bahamas Information Services
Published: May 15, 2013
ELEUTHERA - Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Aviation Hope Strachan travelled to the island of Eleuthera on Friday, May 10 to show her ministry’s support to stakeholders who have partnered together to promote a road safety campaign on the island.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Member of Parliament for Central and South Eleuthera Damian Gomez also showed his support, as the group tries to get citizens on the island to obey traffic laws by not drinking and driving and/or speeding. The stakeholders include officials from the Ministry of Transport; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Works; Ministry of Education; the Royal Bahamas Police Force; the Rotary Club and the One Eleuthera Foundation. One Eleuthera brings together people, resources and expertise to develop opportunities for all Eleutherans to prosper.
Strachan said that up to May 10, the statistics she had available showed the number of traffic fatalities stood at 26, with nine of those on New Providence, five in Grand Bahama, one in Andros, two in Abaco, two in Exuma and seven on Eleuthera.
“We see, based on those figures, that Eleuthera is just two behind New Providence and the difference in the population is huge,” she said. “So per capita, Eleuthera is actually ahead of New Providence in terms in the amount of fatalities and that is extremely significant.”
Strachan added, “It is also why the ministry has determined that we have to bring focus to bear on the island of Eleuthera in terms of trying to see how we can ameliorate what is fast becoming a health crisis.”
She explained that not only do many persons involved in traffic accidents suffer injuries to their bodies but they also suffer mental issues. These issues also extend to family members and survivors as they constantly re-live the trauma of an accident.
“Generally we know for the whole community at large there is usually a physiological issue for everyone involved. So things like just driving along a road after an accident and being able to point to the spot where that accident occurred, is something significant and it stays with you.”
Strachan said the Ministry of Transport and Aviation will work with the Ministry of Works and Urban Development to help improve the infrastructure on the island. She noted that the ministry also launched, through the Road Traffic Department, a Facebook page called National Road Safety Committee Bahamas. The committee which is spearheading the website is charged with implementing policies and changes in road traffic matters.
“The aim and objective is to prevent as many fatalities as possible and decrease the amount of catastrophic injuries being suffered as a result of road traffic accidents.” She urged the partners in Eleuthera to become active participants on the site, and also promised that her ministry will continue its support of the stakeholders in getting drivers to be more responsible on the streets.
“We want to continue this effort not only because of the increase in traffic fatalities, but we wish it to be a sustainable program that could benefit the island of Eleuthera for a long time to come,” Strachan said.