The concept of 30-40 km/h speed limit zone in Port-Louis was presented, this morning, by the Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Alan Ganoo, during an event held at the Municipal Council of Port-Louis.
On the same occasion, prizes were remitted to the winners of a National Drawing Competition on Road Safety organised by the Ministry of Land Transport and Light Rail.
In his address, the Minister underlined that the concept of the lower speech limits in towns and major villages in Mauritius is inspired from the United Nations' Streets for Life campaign that calls for 30 km/h in town and cities worldwide to ensure safe, healthy, green and livable cities.
He announced that this campaign is being first introduced in Port-Louis, on a pilot basis, whereby speed limitations of 40km/h will be enforced in main roads and 30km/h in side roads. The required road signs as regards the new speed limitations will be displayed, he said.
Mr Ganoo highlighted the benefits of low-speed streets namely enhanced road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and others who are most at risk with motorised traffic. He stated that this is in line with the National Road Safety Strategy 2021-2025, 'Safer Roads', and will help decrease the number of road traffic victims.
He deplored that excessive speed continues to be a key risk factor in road traffic collisions and injuries. One second of carelessness and recklessness can have irreversible damage, he observed.
According to the UN health agency, a five percent cut in average speed can result in a 30% reduction in the number of fatal road traffic crashes, and adult pedestrians have almost 80% chance of surviving an impact at 30 km/h while they have 80% risk of not surviving a collision at 50 km/h, informed the Minister.
Minister Ganoo pointed out that there are some 1,25 million victims of road traffic accidents each year, and road traffic accident is the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years. As for Mauritius, we have had up to now, 54 victims compared to 61 last year, and the costs of road traffic accidents are estimated to Rs 6 billion, he said.
While reiterating the unflinching determination of the Government to ensure road safety, the Minister dwelt on other key measures to curb road traffic incidents, namely the zero-tolerance policy for drunk-driving and stringent penalties.
Speaking about the competition, he affirmed that the participants have developed their creativity, skills and gain in knowledge regarding the subject matter. Our objective was to transform the young participants as messengers of road safety to their peers and their parents. The aim, said the Minister, was also to inculcate to them at a young age itself the culture of courtesy, respect and discipline which is essential on the road that has to be used as a shared space.
He recalled that some 700 primary educators have received training on road safety to in turn educate their students on the matter. The Minister also appealed to everyone to champion the cause of road safety as it is everyone's concern.
National Drawing Competition on Road Safety
The drawing competition targeted primary school students, and focused on the theme "Streets for Life". It was organised in the context of a Road Safety campaign that was launched during the 6th United National Global Road Safety Week held from 17 to 23 May 2021.
Some 175 entries were received. The twelve best works were rewarded with cash prizes. The winner received a cheque of Rs 10,000, the first runner up Rs 7,000 and the second runner up Rs 5,000. The other participants received each Rs 3,000.