Dates: 4 to 6 November

The Road Safe Pacific Workshop 2019 was held last week in Nadi, Fiji. The meeting brought together regional traffic and road safety senior policing officers from 16 PICP member countries.

The workshop was organised by the Executive Coordinator Glyn Rowland from the PICP Secretariat and facilitated by Dave Cliff and Brett Harman from the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP). The GRSP is hosted by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Their vision is ‘A world free of road crash death and injury’. Tragically, road trauma is the greatest killer of our young people worldwide.

The meeting was opened by Fiji Police Force Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu. Topics included Leadership, Safe System Model, Deterrent Theory, Speeding and Drink Driving, Crash Reporting, and Strategy and Action Plan Development.

After the opening, officers presented road and traffic information and statistics about their home countries. Alcohol was a significant contributing factor in road death and trauma throughout the Pacific. Other shared areas of concern are out of date legislation regarding the wearing of safety belts, helmets, and blood alcohol limit, the fines for offenses being too small, lack of road signage, and having working equipment for speed and alcohol testing.

Once the workshop was underway, the GRSP presented concepts and gradually built up officer’s knowledge by providing statistics, examples and stories from their own policing and personal backgrounds. Many officers felt comfortable and added into the wealth of information sharing. In some cases the stories shared involved attending a road side death, and talking with emotion about how that loss may have been preventable. The impact that road trauma has is not shouldered by families and communities alone, but is carried by all those who it touches.

GRSP stressed throughout the workshop that officers must lead by example, to use their influence as leaders to gain support for road safety initiatives, and to apply scientific and proven methods to reduce road collision and trauma.

PICP-S would like to thank the Fiji Police Force for their support, in particular the hands on demonstration of road side breath testing analysis and speed capturing techniques.