Big safety push for new generation of drivers
By Malek Hashim

In the face of horrific accidents occurring almost daily, reducing road accidents is everyone's responsibility, said Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Managing Director of Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) at the final round of the BSP National Road Safety Traffic Games for secondary schools at the Oil and Gas Discovery Centre in Seria yesterday.

The timely reminder from Dr Henderson underscored what Her Royal Highness Princess Hjh Masna had stressed at last year's United Nations Global Road Safety Week.

HRH Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, yesterday graced the Traffic Games prize presentation. HRH Princess Hajah Masna is also the patron of the Brunei Darussalam National Road Safety Council.

Also present were Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerma Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Communication, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister Office, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Yusof bin Haji Abdul Hamid, Deputy Minister of Communication, Pehin Datu Kerma Setia CP Dato Paduka Seri Zainuddin Bin Jalani, Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force and Haji Mohammad bin Haji Abdul Rahman, Belait District Officer.

Besides investing in the quarter-million Traffic Games Park to conduct road safety education in a real-life setting, BSP has also significantly contributed towards the government's national road safety campaign, sponsored educational materials in the media and organised road shows in each district in the country, Dr Henderson revealed.

He said that, "We are now looking at capturing the hearts and minds of people using a two-pronged strategy. At the grassroots, we are targeting the younger population. We have been working with the Ministry of Education, and have just concluded a road safety awareness campaign in primary schools throughout the country."

The second part of the two-pronged strategy is in relation to our "Tell-A-Friend" road safety campaign, which we have introduced amongst Brunei Shell employees and contractor staff. Launched in April this year by Pehin Zainuddin, the Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force, 'Tell-A-Friend' takes forward the road safety message through word of mouth in a deeply personal way to our friends and families.

Close to 700 secondary school students from 35 schools nationwide took part in the preliminary round of the Traffic Games before six of the best teams were picked for the finals.

As for the campaign among primary schoolchildren, an unprecedented number of 28,000 primary school students from 200 schools from all four districts took part in activities such as colouring competition, quizzes, essay writing contest and PowerPoint presentation designed to sensitise them to the importance of safe driving. - Borneo Bulletin (29th June 2008)