Road Safety Council pushes for drop-off zones at schools
THE Brunei National Road Safety Council (BNRSC) is looking to set up zones for parents to pick up and drop off their children at schools for safety reasons in light of an accident involving a student in Brunei-Muara earlier this year.
A senior enforcement officer from the council, Pg Khairul Yusra Pg Md Yusof (1st photo), said the council is in negotiations with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to develop a framework in identifying pick-up and drop-off points for parents, especially in areas around the capital.
“A number of suggestions had been received and a survey will be made, involving parents and road users including foreigners,” he told The Brunei Times on the sidelines of a road safety roadshow at Muhammad Alam Primary School in Seria yesterday.
“InsyaAllah, perhaps the survey can be carried out next week; my hope is that people would give their support and cooperation for the survey so that we can really find out which areas are thought to be logical, safe and convenient for the public, especially parents to pick up and drop off their children,” he added.
Pg Khairul Yusra said the government also intended to improve safety of cyclists.
“Efforts toward such include the building of cycling lanes including the one in Jalan Menteri Besar where cycling lanes were blue and are marked with a distinctive logo,” he said.
He reiterated that it is an offence if cyclists fail to wear protective gear, including helmets while riding their bikes, under the Road Traffic Act.
However, he said the regulation was not entirely meant to punish but a deterrent to warn and remind road users on the importance of safety.
“It is not our intention to actually punish people whenever they fail to comply with the safety rules of cycling, but rather it is an initiative to minimise the risk of injuries involved in accidents,” he said.
“Imposing fines would depend on how heavy the offences are, for instance in accidents, it is not certain that it would bring danger to themselves and other road users.
“Accidents could happen because of other factors including our health and environmental influences; considering this, the government will not necessarily take drastic measures to punish, only to remind or warn and enhance road safety awareness among the people,” he added.
The senior enforcement officer also said the council measures public awareness on road safety.
“This is usually done based on reports we received from first responder agencies including the Royal Brunei Police Force, Fire and Rescue Department and the Emergency Unit under the Ministry of Health,” he said.
“Based on such reports, the rate of accidents in Brunei usually involves those around the age of 18 to 28, and not necessarily drivers, they also include pedestrians and cyclists; that is why most of our targets for road safety awareness are on young people,” he said.
Prior to the interview, Pg Khairul Yusra delivered a talk to some 80 primary five and six students of the Muhammad Alam Primary School, encouraging them to prioritise safety if they were to cross, cycle, or get in and out of buses.
The talk was part of activities to mark the third United Nations Global Road Safety Week from May 4-10.
The Brunei Times