Students of Nayfeh school in Amman cross the street in front of their school after the area was made safer under an initiative by Hikmat Road Safety (Photo courtesy of Hikmat Road Safety)
"To be effective, I didn't come here for some billbords and words I came to make an action," this is how Mr. Maher Qadourah started his speach last weekend at the seminar conducted by Shoman Association titeled: " Road Accidents ... Order point".
He continued: "and we are doing it right now" ... "We need your support and participation" We need volunteers
The father of a victim of a car accident in Jordan want to make a change. Do we have to pay that big of a price for us to be a doers?
I believe this initiative is in the core goal of Amman Voice: " We need to start thinking about a campaign building the movement to re-imagine our streets as lively public places."
And it's happening now, Hikmat Road Safety are doing it.
AMMAN - (JT) In order to encourage the private sector to help
address traffic accidents, Hikmat Road Safety founders on Tuesday announced the
“Sponsor-a-Zone: Save-a-Life” initiative.
The Hikmat Road Safety organisation was established in memory of Hikmat Qadourah, who was killed in a hit-and-run car accident in January. The organisation began as a personal initiative by his father, Maher Qadourah, who refused to let his only son’s
death become just another statistic.
“Sponsor-a-Zone is a programme where individuals or organisations play vital roles in reducing accidents in the country,” Qadourah told The Jordan Times on Tuesday, adding that sponsors will be directed towards enhancing road safety in specific zones selected by stakeholders.
“We aim to make individuals realise their responsibilities towards ensuring better road safety and a safer environment,” Qadourah told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.
This initiative offers the opportunity to the private sector as well as individuals to participate in the campaign to ensure pedestrians safer roads, he added.
The initiative aims to enhance safety measures in at least 100 schools and 100 streets by the end of 2008, Qadourah said, stressing that the financial contributions made to the initiative will be directed towards reducing traffic speeds, creating safer home zones for children and guaranteeing pedestrian safety around schools.
For example, Qadourah said, 15 girls from Nayfeh school in the east Amman’s Al Hashimi Al Shamali neighbourhood have been victims of road accidents in the vicinity of their school over the past year.
“We have just finished renovations that should considerably reduce the frequency of the number of such accidents in that area,” the activist added.
He noted that students in Nayfeh school themselves made a symbolic contribution to the maintenance works to the roads,which cost a total of JD5,000.
“They paid 10 fils each. We wanted to make them feel that they share the responsibility,” Qadourah said.
According to Education Ministry’s statistics, over 4,800 accidents took place in the vicinity of schools in 2007, Qadourah pointed out, adding that his institution has targeted 15 other schools to be made pedestrian-safe areas before the end of March.
“Unless individuals understand the social responsibility of road safety and begin to act, the efforts to promote a safer environment will become increasingly more difficult,” he said.
In addition to schools, Qadourah said that the organisation has made a road safety
plan for Mecca Street, where his son was hit and killed, a street he believes
lacks minimum requirements of pedestrians safety measures.
“We will make our roads more pedestrian-friendly and according to world-class standards,” he added.
“Studies revealed that the average speed on that street is over 90km/h while it should not exceed 50-60km/hr,” he said, adding that today they will meet with officials from Greater Amman Municipality and the Public Security Department.
“If the design was adopted by the participants, we expect maintenance work on Mecca Street to be completed by June15,” he said.
According to Qadourah, the changes will include more speed bumps and guardrails to prevent pedestrians from crossing the street in places other than pedestrian crossings.