By Quinton Alomp, EM TV News – Port Moresby
Knowledge of road safety is critically important for road users, but experts say many Papua New Guineans are not knowledgeable of safety signs which results in a high death rate every year.
Papua New Guinea has the highest number of road accidents in the South West Pacific region.
Road accidents in Papua New Guinea remain one of the main causes of deaths and injuries.
The Highlands highway has so far recorded the highest number of deaths as a result of fatal accidents.
Police Traffic Director, Joe Joseph said “especially the Highlands highway, where a lot of accidents occurred.”
The National Capital District is leading with a high number of accidents every year, followed by Morobe and Western Highlands provinces.
With such a large landmass, the number of vehicles and a significant number of drivers who literally know little about road signs and safety regulations, awareness and education remains critically important to minimise accidents.
“Between 200 to 300 people are killed on our roads every year in Papua New Guinea. And this is one too many.
“When we talk about injuries, it’s between 4,000 to 5,000 people,” the Chief Traffic officer said.
The challenge now is to educate people about safety on the roads.
The National road Safety Council and police traffic officers have been carrying out safety awareness in schools and public places in Southern Highlands and Enga provinces.
The Asian Development Bank who funded most of the road works in the Highlands provinces supported the safety campaign financially.
While awareness remains vital, the responsible agency is trying to introduce road safety lessons into the national education curriculum.
National Road Safety Authority Deputy Director, Wilson Wariaka, says “Our only issue is how can we sustain such road safety campaign, education and awareness.
“Because only through sustained approach on a regular basis, it can have a greater impact and outcome.”