November 28, 2008

Pedestrian Road Safety Partnership

My Speach at Jotrans 2008:

"I am delighted to speak at this strategic conference which represents a key convention for all agencies working toward the one thing that they all care about… building livable safe cities.
Successful transportation strategies endorse road safety education and promote programs toward further improving road safety outcomes, at all levels of every community

However, if we continue planning our cities for cars and traffic, we will get more cars and traffic; but, if we start planning our cities for people and places, we will get more people and places.

Streets are more than just car corridors; they are valuable civic spaces and resources that need to be wisely allocated. We need to start thinking about a campaign to re-imagine our streets as lively safe public places.

In 2007, 992 people died in Jordan as a result of 110,630 road accidents with an estimated monetary loss of 281 Million JOD. The average growth rate in the number of killed and seriously injured as a result of road accidents was 12% in the last five years.

January of 2008 witnessed an alarming rise in the number of lives lost to road accidents which caused a national call for action following His Majesty king Abdullah The Second’s directions that we must put an end to this trend.

In 2008 compared to 2007, the collaborative efforts of both the public and the private sectors resulted in a 12.1% decrease in accidents, 27.42% decrease in injuries, and 39.27% decrease in deaths.

We feel and We forget. We Hear and We Remember. We Do and We Understand.

We still have a very long way to go and the results achieved so far are a living proof that together government and people can address national challenges. Sustaining this positive progress is key and requires even more effective Public-Private Partnership.

Forming such alliances need a lot of commitment by all parties involved; each needs to understand the limitations and strengths that their side brings to this undertaking. They need to communicate with each other, ensure that all involved parties contribute to and benefit from the relationship in ways appropriate to their organizations, ensure that all partners participate on a more equal basis and to accept responsibility not only for their role in decision making but in the outcomes of the alliance as well.
Successful alliances were forged all over the world to tackle issues that were deemed of importance to the people of that country. The private sector and the non profit sectors played an important role together with the governments in raising the awareness on road safety, improving the infrastructure, instilling a culture of road safety among their community, financially supporting campaigns and activities promoting road safety, and training and building the capacity of individuals and organizations on road safety measures and related issues.

The RSCOE is an example of such a partnership between the Public and Private sector. Established in June, 2008 between the GAM, the GJU, Hikmat Road safety , and in October the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs joined this partnership.

"A livable city is a road safe city," the center main aim is to promote the level of road safety in Jordan and To Build World Class Road Safety Capacity by Integrating (learning, applied research, advanced know-how & tools) in an outcome oriented way to support the effective execution of the National Road Safety Strategy.

The Road safety center of excellence aims to: Certify Road Safety Officers, Study and understand vital issues, Develop Solutions, Influence implementation, and Publish standards and best practices

The center is introducing the concept of road safety audit into Jordan and plans to Make road safety audit a common concept where: practitioners are familiar with it , know how to do it, adopt a standard, use tools and methods, and are striving to become certified.

A road safety audit (RSA) is a formal safety examination of a future roadway plan or project or an in-service facility that is conducted by an independent, experienced multidisciplinary RSA team.

The RSCOE conducted the first workshop to certify Road Safety Officers that took place on the 3rd of August, 2008 for a period of 2 weeks and covered the topic of how to assess current roads and how to conduct a road safety audit. The workshop was delivered by two German Experts at the German – Jordanian University and was attended by 27 participants from various governmental entities related to road safety.

Each participant was required to prepare a comprehensive report on the results of their studies and site visits in addition to preparing an action plan for implementing future road safety activities. The participants are expected to take full responsibility for these initiatives.

Moreover, before the end of this year, the RSCOE is planning to launch the first Pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines Manual that provides transportation agencies conducting a RSA and pedestrians with a better understanding of the needs of pedestrians of all abilities.

The pedestrian Road Safety Audit Guidelines Manual provide an easy to understand comparison between what’s right and what’s wrong and provide a general listing of potential pedestrian safety issues.

The intent of the guidelines is to familiarize practitioners and citizens with potential pedestrian issues and to help them identify specific safety concerns related to pedestrian road safety.

Prompt lists are provided at the end of the manual to identify the types of pedestrian-related issues that the RSA team should be aware of to promote pedestrian safety in the audited project. Another successful partnership between the Public and Private sectors is the Safer Schools Program, 100 schools were designed inside & outside of Amman to improve road safety in their zones. The designs were completed in cooperation with Arabtech-Jardaneh design office. As of today, 74 schools were maintained to be safe for total number of 56,289 students. By the end of the Year 100 school will be completed, in Amman, Madaba, Balqa, Ma’an, Karak, Tafeleh, Zarqa and Irbid governorates.
While we continue working on the Safer Schools program, another program started to extend the efforts to build safer home Zones.

Today, the 23rd of November marked the opening of the first Safe home-Zone project “Haretna” in Al-Zuhour Area in Amman. Another cooperation between GAM, and HRS. The Project donation came from Al-Ard Company and designed by Turath consultants.
The center strategy is to “Train the Trainers” to become a road safety ambassador each in his agency.

In 2009 we will: Certify 100 Road Safety Officers, Build 100 Safe Schools, Build 100 Safe Home Zones, Develop and Publish more Road Safety standards, and build more partnerships.

We are Stronger, More capable, smarter, More righteous, More aware, better, more interactive, more creative, more practical, more solid, achievers, more effective, more trust worthy, more interesting, more stable, more sustainable, able to contribute more, more logical, more aware

Than Me Alone.
Thank you "

By: Arch. Emad A. Salameh
Road Safety Center of Excellence
General Manager

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