The Safe Roads 4 Youth project is a three year project that develops tests and evaluates a flexible framework to address drink driving and walking prevention in emerging countries taking into account cultural diversity. This project carries out preventive interventions at community level, aimed at mobilizing their citizens, better training local players and preventing drinking and driving in different communities, starting with young adults.
The preventive actions are being undertaken in 3 different countries: Vietnam, Argentina and South Africa. Global Road Safety Partnership South Africa together with South African Red Cross Society and the research team from Stellenbosch University coordinate the project for South Africa to evaluate and implement the Safe Roads 4 Youth project in Belhar, Cape Town, with Strand as a control area, and, Nelspruit in Pretoria, with Polokwane as a control area. They will be working with various government departments and road safety / policing structures at from spheres, schools in the community, youth groups, cultural groups and other various NGOs to make the programme a success.
The project’s objective is to improve the understanding of the impact of cultural factors in the effectiveness and efficiency of drunken driving and walking preventative actions. Results will be disseminated internationally, in order to promote effective community programs to prevent drunk driving and walking, and to improve road safety. The project’s objectives are in support of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020.
On Saturday the 1st of September 2012 the Safe Roads 4 Youth (SR4Y) Programme had been launched amongst the Belhar community at Dr van der Ross Primary School.
The event was hosted by Vareshni Moonsamy from Global Road safety Partnership South Africa and Belhar Community Police Forum Chairperson, Mr Pat America. The community audience and stakeholders received important and motivational messages about the project from Martine Aitken, SR4Y International Project Manager from PAU Education, Hector Elliott, the Head of the Ministry of Transport of Public Works, Mr Dan Plato, the Minister of Community Safety, Desmond Jafhta, Belhar Ward Councillor, Ashfaaq Bux from the D1S Drifters Club Car Group and Karen Vorsatz, representing the South African Police Service.
The event also included a variety of exciting local entertainment such as
solo dancers, a violinist, choirs, marching bands, a drill squadron march,
drum majorettes and the D1S car drifters club.
The speeches and entertainment was followed by a mention of thanks to all the stakeholders who assisted in the launch, this was done by Fahgmeeda Ameerodien, Poverty Relief & Empowerment for Change Organisation Director, and a prayer from Sheigh Fareed Majiet. The programme then concluded with refreshments and beverages served for all who attended.
The Belhar SR4Y Launch was a major success, getting the Belhar community excited and involved. This is only the beginning for the Safe Roads for Youth project and it can only grow with the support from the project stakeholders and the people within the community.
Let’s stop drunk driving and drunken walking and strive for better, safer roads in South Africa.