Road Safety Teacher Training Workshop held in Belmopan Print E-mail
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Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00

Some 66 persons took part in sessions on road safety training at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan on Wednesday of this week. Participants for the training included teachers from pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary level as well as police and transport officers. Some of the traffic related facts that were learnt today was on how to integrate traffic safety in the current curriculum; especially within the Social Studies and Health and Family Life Education sections of the Curriculum.

Participants were divided into two groups this morning to learn to develop curriculum material as it relates to traffic safety, which will form a standard and be adopted by teachers around the country. Top level Traffic Officers were on hand to assist in that process as well as experts from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

The training of teachers and other key personnel on traffic safety issues is just one component of the Belize Road Safety Project, which is made possible from an ongoing USD 8.844 million from the Caribbean Development Bank, with full support from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. This is a justifiable sum considering that from a report undertaken by the Pan American Health Organization and the Ministry of Health in 2010; road casualties had resulted in thirty nine million Belize dollars in damages annually to Belizean society or 4% of Belize’s actual budget.

“Today’s workshop is about training teachers to use those resources and materials in the classroom, to get the best out of those, so that they can deliver effective road safety demonstration”, says Diveall Darren, team leader for curriculum consultancy within the Road Safety Project.

Led by the Ministry of Economic Development and with co-chair by the Ministry of Transport, the Road Safety Project has since March of 2013 resulted in the creation of a National Road Safety Committee, the introduction of high way patrols and the resurfacing of sections of road between Belize City and Belmopan.

Already, the leaders of the Belize Road Safety Project are looking at how changes in legislation can be made as it relates to seat belts. In May of 1996, the first piece of legislation on seat belts was passed into law, where the wearing of seat belts in the front seat of vehicles was to be enforced.

“But studies since that time has shown that more people in the back seat has caused injuries to persons in the front seat when vehicles are involved in accidents, as a result we are now looking to amend that piece of legislation”, says Crispin Jeffries, Chief Transport Officer.

Members of the public in Belmopan are being invited to attend a meeting at the George Price Center on August 20th to discuss the seat belt legislation as well as other matters relating to the Belize Road Safety Project.