A series of virtual workshops focusing on the socially inclusive road safety awareness communication strategy organized by the Ministry of Works through the Project Implementation Management Unit, are being deemed as a great success.
Over 20 government departments and statutory agencies have been brought together online between December 2021 and February 2022 to make recommendations and better understand their road safety responsibilities.
The Caribbean Development Bank has provided funding to support the rehabilitation of six major roads in Antigua and Barbuda. The project includes the development and implementation of a Gender Responsive and Socially Inclusive Road Safety Awareness Communication Strategy, which is being developed by the consulting firm FRED Engineering. It is designed to enhance road safety procedures in accordance with the
framework of the Safe System Approach.
The meetings were organised as a way of encouraging civil society agencies, private sector partners, NGOs and community groups to play an active and important role in improving the safety of both the wider public and specific road user groups.
Head of the National Road Safety Council and Permanent Secretary of Works, Ambassador Clarence E. Pilgrim has played an instrumental role in the sessions by welcoming all stakeholders and applauding them for their commitment to road safety and the protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure.
The interactive sessions are designed to support the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in developing, implementing and monitoring an evidenced based, strategically coordinated road safety communication Strategy, which can be implemented over time in an effort to reduce fatalities, serious injuries and deaths.
During the workshops, stakeholders are presented with a draft of the strategy document that addresses issues of safer roads in Antigua and Barbuda and the national seatbelt campaign.
Community Liaison Officer, Anne Harewood George who is responsible for stakeholder engagement said: These workshops are a historic effort to unite stakeholders and get their buy in of the Socially Inclusive Road Safety Awareness Communications Strategy. We have already engaged a wide range of groups including People with Disabilities, Youth Advocacy Organizations, Transport and Community Organizations, Government Agencies, Statutory Organizations, Barbuda Civil Society and Essential Services. It is exciting to participate in a road safety initiative that is evidence based because stakeholders want to be able to measure success, especially if they are providing both human and financial resources to the campaign.
The communication strategy will provide Antigua and Barbuda with a clear process and replicable tools so that awareness can be constantly raised concerning specific road safety challenges based on the expectations of the UN 2021-2030 Global Decade for Action on Road Safety which calls for 100% seat belt compliance by 2030.
The next set of interactive sessions slated for this week will include media, insurance companies, telecommunications entities, car rental companies, gas stations and car dealerships.
So far, the discussions with stakeholders have helped to fine-tune the draft Communication Strategy and to adapt the key messages to meet the specific needs of Antigua and Barbuda road users through visual images and key messages that will serve to promote the communications strategy and improve road safety in the twin island state.
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