Royalty promotes road safety awareness
By Lyna Mohamad

His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik yesterday participated in the National Road Safety Council and BIBD walkathon to help raise the importance of road safety awareness at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar 'Ali Saifuddien.

Organised by the National Road Safety Council of Brunei Darussalam in collaboration with BIBD, the event was held in conjunction with World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Also present were the Minister of Communications and Advisor of the National Road Safety Council, Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar and the BIBD chairman Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Yahya. HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik also viewed the various displays showcased at the event.

The awareness event saw people from all walks of life flock to the Taman as early as six in the morning in support of the commemoration of road victims.

It also served to educate the public about the United Nations message of a 'Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) where the theme for yesterday's event was 'Road Safety for All'.

Yesterday's event hopes to foster closer ties among NGOs, government and other institutions to deliver actual results in road safety awareness and road traffic ethics to reckless and dangerous road users and is also one of BIBD's corporate social responsibility initiatives to help create a meaningful impact on general society.

The number of road fatalities in Brunei over the past 11 months has proven to be alarming with currently 39 fatalities recorded - an increase of 50 per cent when compared to official figures for 2010, which stand at 26.

Also revealed was that from January to November 2011, nearly 50 per cent of fatal road accidents involved youths between the ages of 18 and 30, thus making it vital to take an increasingly stronger stand against irresponsibility among many of the nation's reckless drivers.

In addition to the walkathon, various road safety awareness activities were held at the exhibition area such as road traffic statistics and car tyre safety checks. The event, which was supported by the Ministry of Home Affairs and various companies from the private sector including the official event partner, Sunlit Advertising, was open to all ages with men walking a 4.5km distance while women walked 3.5km. - Borneo Bulletin (5th December 2011)