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Road Safety Week takes message to schools

Call to action: Dennis Lister III, chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Road Safety Week will hit the streets next week with a string of events designed to help cut deaths and injuries.

Dennis Lister, chairman of the Bermuda Road Safety Council, said: “Activities will be geared towards exhibiting different aspects of leadership.

“It is my hope that at the end of the week we will all be better positioned to improve driving behaviour and road safety in Bermuda.”

Mr Lister added: “I ask our industry leaders, community leaders, political leaders and sport leaders to take the lead on road safety.

“If you can be a leader in your field, then you can also be a leader in road safety.”

The council will also launch Draw 4 Change, a road safety art competition for schools organised with fuel company Rubis and The Royal Gazette’s Drive for Change campaign.

Pupils from primary schools to senior level will submit artwork with a road safety theme.

Winners and their schools will receive prizes and their work will be featured in Rubis’s 2020 calendar, as well as in The Royal Gazette.

Schools wishing to take part in the Draw 4 Change competition should register by May 10.

Road Safety Week will include a safety awareness event staged by Drive for Change along with the council, the Bermuda Police Service and other emergency services.

Mr Lister said the council’s mission statement was “to educate the public with effective tools and to reduce collisions, and road fatalities”.

He added: “Our vision is to create a safer road culture, which promotes positive driving and riding practices, creating smarter road users and saving lives.”

Jermaine Simons, sales manager for Rubis also the main sponsor of Drive for Change, said: “Draw 4 Change was created from the combination of Rubis’s Fuelling 4 a Cause programme and our involvement with The Royal Gazette’s Drive for Change campaign.

“Fuelling 4 a Cause is one of Rubis’ programmes for giving back to those organisations whose mission it is to improve the lives and welfare of our community.

“In its fourth year, Rubis has chosen to focus on our schools and road safety.”

Mr Simons added: “At Rubis, we identify health and safety as a critical business principle.

“We feel that raising public awareness and promoting efforts to try and encourage safer driving practices within the community is a natural extension of our principles.

“Draw 4 Change’s mission is to raise awareness and public engagement in various elements of road safety.

“By channelling our children’s creative talents via an artwork contest, the public can understand how we can stay safe on our roads by practising safer driving habits.”

Rachael Robinson, road safety officer for the Transport Control Department, said: “It takes a community effort to create a productive shift in behaviour. By investing in our youth we solidify this notion.”

Ms Robinson will visit schools with competition details and has offered to give pupils lessons on road safety during her rounds.

Teachers who want to arrange a road safety assembly or class can call 707-2349 or e-mail bdarsc@gmail.com. For more information and to enter the Draw 4 Change competition, visit rubis-bermuda.com. Road Safety Week, designed to coincide with the UN Road Safety Week, will run from next Monday until May 10. More details on events will be announced this week.