Road safety council to use fencing barriers in vicinity of schools

National 2 minutes, 26 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

FENCING barriers directing students to use pedestrian crossings and overhead bridges is one of several measures planned by the Brunei National Road Safety Council (BNRSC) in response to a teen being hit by a car in the capital on Tuesday.

Chairman of BNRSC and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yusof told The Brunei Times yesterday that the council has developed short, mid and long-term strategies to beef up safety – especially for eight schools in the capital including Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien College (SOAS).

“An overhead bridge at the site of Tuesday’s accident will hopefully be completed by the end of this month.

“To ensure the public, especially young students, use it, we are looking at setting up fencing barriers which prevent from people crossing the road at any other point than the designated areas,” said the chairman in an interview at the sidelines of an ongoing Road Safety exhibition being held at Pusat Belia.

A reduction to the speed limit, from 65 kilometres per hour around certain schools – including the site of the accident – to 30 and 50 kilometres per hour is also in the works.

“When we did a quick survey earlier this week, even 50 km/h was very fast for a school zone, especially for a four-feet tall kid, the collision at this speed can have a severe impact,” he said.

A lower speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour may be enforced during peak hours, while remaining hours could operate at 50 kilometres per hour.

Also scheduled for implementation in the immediate future are more road signs to notify motorists to reduce speed and be on the lookout for schoolchildren.

From a long-term perspective, the council is looking at what can be done to manage overall congestion amongst schools, particularly those in the capital.

“One of the biggest issues is cars parking on the side of the road while waiting for students to finish class. This creates a problem of visibility as motorists passing through the road cannot see a shorter child coming on to the road,” he added.

A ‘park and ride’ facility is one of the solutions being mooted, which could potentially see dedicated lanes or spaces for parents to wait for their children.

“The concept of a park and ride is contained in our land transport white paper; but what the final form will look like will have to take logistical and other considerations of each of the schools first,” he said.

The chairman also praised initiatives by certain schools to have teachers and other staff wear illuminated vests and guide students through congested roads.

“Safety is everyone’s responsilbity. From our own personal observation, at many places where there are overhead bridges, there are still those who prefer to (jaywalk), so more remains to be done in instilling a culture of safety around school areas,” he said.

The Brunei Times