Study Guide for Student Drivers Launched

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Minister of Works and Transport Dr. the Hon. Earl Deveaux launches the Highway Code for The Bahamas and announces the Road Safety Initiatives at Worker’s House.

NASSAU, Bahamas — Minister of Works and Transport Dr. the Hon. Earl Deveaux officially launched the Highway Code of The Bahamas, which is intended to replace the study guide formerly used by student drivers.  It also includes guidance and regulations for drivers, bus operators, motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

“The launch of the new Highway Code is intended to complement the construction and improvement of our roads; the biggest of which is the New Providence Road Improvement Project, which if all goes well we hope to begin to implement early this summer,” Dr. Deveaux said at Worker’s House Monday.

He explained that the Road Traffic Department, which comes under the Ministry of Works and Transport, is intensifying its programme for institutional strengthening and development.

“It is doing that to increase public education, improve public transportation, reduce traffic congestion and design initiatives for road safety such as the launch of the new Highway Code of The Bahamas,” the Minister noted.

As part of this initiative, the Road Traffic Department also unveiled the Road Safety Jingle performed by Nehemiah Hield as well as seatbelt advertisements.

Dr. Deveaux said as a complement to the Highway Code, consultants from the British team Transport Research Laboratory completed a number of documents, which included a manual for Driver Instructors and Examiners and a driving school code of practice.

The Minister said the consultants will also assist in preparing legislative and administrative measures that will include a review of all the current license categories and the establishment of a streamlined registration system for driving school instructors for various classes of drivers and licenses.

Then the consultants will help to draft legislation to regulate the licensing of driving schools and their instructors with the accompanying recommendations for penalties for non-compliance.

Dr. Deveaux said the Road Traffic Department will improve the physical layout of the driving range.

He added that a Manual for High School Drivers’ Education Programme will be provided to high schools throughout The Bahamas, and they will have an opportunity to participate in the drivers’ education programme by the fall of this year.

Dr. Deveaux said all publications and programmes intended for institutional strengthening and development will be completed by June 2008 with the exception of the legislative measures and the improvements to the driving range.

Chevron Texaco Road Safety Spokesperson Rashad Rolle pointed out that the World Health Organization said nothing consumes more young lives than road traffic accidents.

Mr. Rolle said this is one of the reasons the Ministry of Works and Transport’s decision to educate youths about the ways in which they can make a difference on the roads is of utmost importance to our society.

“We all know the road safety rules: wear a seatbelt, avoid drinking and driving, use the pedestrian crossing, follow the speed limit but every pedestrian, every driver, every cyclist and every passenger must make these rules not just words on paper but a way of life.

“Through education, this is indeed possible,” he said.