The Belize Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project known as YOURS saw 19 young men and women graduate in June 2014 from a two week training program.
Since then these youths have been reaching out to other youths in the country through sensitization workshops on road safety strategies.
This week the director of Youths for Road Safety, Floor Lieshout, is in the country to evaluate their progress and joined their workshop at the police training academy today.
“In June 2014, we trained 19 youth leaders from Belize to design and to implement Road Safely Workshops with their peers. Since then they have trained over a thousand young people in the communities of Belize.
Right now I’m back in the country to see how they’re doing, what the processes are, [and] how the progress was made. Basically I’m going to review and access the situation right now. I’m seeing that right now in action, at a very interactive workshop here today at the Police Academy. It’s a pleaseure to see them at work.”
Earlier in our newscast we told you about the fatal traffic accident in Belmopan where it is believed that alcohol was involved.
Pamela Scott, the project coordinator for YOURS, explained how the sensitisation workshop can help to prevent incidents like those.
“We had an incident where it appears that probably someone was under the influence of alcohol. Probably the opponent may need to use some skills to detect that you have oncoming traffic under the influence of alcohol, or even being distracted, and ‘How will I maneuver myself? Will I still rush to the scene, or will I pull off the road, or will I slow down?’
So these are the different tactics that we are trying to introduce, so that good road safety practices can be implemented. [Then] you would have a safe system approach, where if one person fails when they are on the road, we’ll have someone back-stopping, so that you can be able to either catch them in terms of giving them the space or advise them nicely, ‘Maybe you should find someone else to help you drive,’ or ‘Maybe you can do this and that.’ So there are several techniques that need to be implemented.”
” I think. we have covered three main topics. That’s speeding, drink driving, and distracted driving. We focus on these issues because we see them most affecting people in the world, and in Belize. Those are the key risk factors.
We try to give people information on how to prevent Road Traffic Accidents, because of these factors.
They are taught how to be a defensive driver, to drive not only for themselves but for others on the road as well.”
“The speeding limit here in the country of Belize is 55 miles per hour. If you go above the 55 miles per hour [limit] there’s a high possibility that you could lose focus and get in a car accident.
It’s a very interesting program, that allows us as officers to gain that knowledge, in order for us to implement the law, and be more stern about it.”
Over 160 police recruits were part of this one day workshop implemented by the Youths for Road Safety. At the end of the workshop all 160 recruits received awards for completing the workshop.
Floor Lieshout will be evaluating and assessing the progress of youth trainers for the Youths for Road Safety project over the course of this week.