May 18, 2008

National Awarness for Car Accidents, a National Priority.

A poster showing KAFA campaign logo at the official launch of the nationwide traffic awareness campaign on Monday (Photo by Hani Hazaimeh)

A serious actions have been taken place in the Kingdom since the beginning of this year addressing the National catastrophe of Road Accidents in Jordan. Since then, the number of accidents is declining. An unofficial statistics claimed that the number of Road Accidents in the Kingdom decreased 30% and the curve is improving. This time it's not just Guerilla Campaigns, at least not all of them. Many initiatives in the country call for serious moves to stop the increasing number of accidents and to develop awareness to this national problem.

Some of these campaigns are :

Kafah (Or Enough): KAFA was originally an initiative by Her Majesty Queen Rania that kicked off in 2005 under the title: "The National Traffic Awareness CampaignAll concerned public, private and civil society institutions were engaged in the nationwide effort. The leader for car accidents awarness in the Kingdom, introducing the first steps towards social excellence and effectiveness. is introducing social change through real work at schools, streets and home zones.

Fact box
• A civilian is killed every nine hours
• A child is killed every 36 hours
• Road accidents are the second leading cause of death in Jordan, after cardiovascular diseases
• Every day, 303.1 accidents take place, 2.7 people die and 49.2 are injured
• Jordan’s material losses resulting from accidents amounted to JD281million in 2007, while the Arab world loses around $65 billion due to traffic accidents every year
• More than a million people worldwide are killed and more than 25 million are injured in road accidents annually

Source: PSD and RHAS

AMMAN - (By Hani Hazaimeh)

Promoting and fostering a culture of traffic safety by raising public awareness and bringing about behavioural change was the goal of the "KAFA", or “enough”, campaign the Royal Health Awareness Society (RHAS) launched yesterday.

KAFA was originally an initiative by Her Majesty Queen Rania that kicked off in 2005 under the title: "The National Traffic Awareness Campaign
All concerned public, private and civil society institutions were engaged in the nationwide effort.

Last Tuesday, Queen Rania, who chairs RHAS’ board of trustees, headed a meeting of KAFA activists, who represent grassroots Jordanians in different governorates.

She highlighted in the gathering the youths’ role in road safety endeavours and their ability to persuade their peers and families to adhere to traffic regulations.

"The campaign is meant to be one of the leading community-based projects addressing traffic as a national priority," RHAS Director General Enaam Barrishi told a press conference on Monday.

Barrishi explained that the programme comprises three components: KAFA Youth, KAFA Children and KAFA Media.

"We aspire through the campaign to spread traffic awareness through media to influence individuals’ behaviour and motivate them to be more responsible drivers on the road," she added.

The media campaign, which began on April 30 in cooperation with local media outlets, aims to increase traffic awareness through “messages from a reality perspective which will encourage the public to be up to their responsibilities”.

"We hope people will realise the dangers on roads," she said, stressing that the campaign will focus in the coming three months on the dangers of speeding, proper use of seat belts, improper use of lanes, ignorance of “stop” signs and speaking on cellphones while driving.

"The campaign's committee will assess the impact of its initiative on the community after three months and will decide the next course of action accordingly," she added.

However, Barrishi added, the campaign will focus on speeding as the main culprit in the high number of accidents and casualties.

Colonel Khalid Kilani, deputy director of the Jordan Traffic Institute, said improving the situation of road infrastructure, setting and activating stiffer traffic regulations, along with traffic awareness programmes, will lead eventually to changing the mentality of motorists.

Efforts are already paying off, he said. The officer pointed out that the number of traffic accidents dropped by 30 per cent in the first quarter of this year and by 20 per cent in terms of injuries.

"The PSD has deployed officers in plainclothes on all public transportation vehicles in order to monitor the behaviour of drivers while at work," he said.

Responding to a question by The Jordan Times, Kilani said PSD is considering granting incentives to drivers who keep a clean record regarding traffic violations One of the suggestions, currently under discussion with insurance companies, is to exempt disciplined drivers from part of the mandatory insurance fees, he told reporters.

He noted that the Ministry of Higher Education, in cooperation with the PSD, is preparing a traffic textbook that will be incorporated into public university curricula.

Meanwhile, KAFA team will be staging a rally on May 9 under the patronage of Queen Rania.

The march will start at the Children’s Museum in King Hussein Park and finish at the Ministry of Public Works and Housing near the 8th Circle.


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john..... said...

using a hands free ear bud that is lightweight and comfortable, and allows a driver to carry on a conversation without diversions and helps in curtailing road accidents.

Another dangerous distraction is when a driver who has been drinking and then attempts to drive. The effects of alcohol can and does raise havoc behind the while. Anyone with a blood alcohol level of .01 is considered unfit to drive. The effects of driving while intoxicated include drowsiness, loss of focus and the inability to judge distances and reaction times.

Rubbernecking and tailgating are other potentially dangerous habits that many practice while driving. Rubbernecking occurs when drivers slow down to look at another accident on the road or anything that looks unusual on the highway.