In fulfilling part of its corporate social responsibility, Vivo Energy the distributers of Shell products in Uganda has introduced a road safety education program to raise awareness in a bid to reduce road carnage.
The program which it is running in partnership with the Uganda traffic police , schools and Safe Kids Uganda aims at training over 2400 boda boda riders and school children in a bid to inculcate a road safety culture among them through increased awareness.
Vivo Energy MD Hans Paulsen said 1.3 million people die in road accidents annually on a global scale while Uganda loses 3,142 lives every year with 14,892 injured.
Paulsen who was speaking at the launch of the program held at the company’s headquarters in Kampala said, “Vivo energy operates 350 trucks on the roads every day which means we are not doing this just for CSR but also making a commitment to be part of the solution. We support the UN’s efforts to stabilize and reduce the forecast level of road traffic deaths around the world during the decade of action for road safety between 2011 and 2020.”
The program will train 1200 boda boda riders on helmet use, motorcycle maintenance, defensive riding, traffic laws as well as the Highway Code and road signs. In addition, 1200 school children will also undergo training to build a robust road safety culture while special training will be given to children acting as safety ambassadors and traffic wardens in their respective schools.
“Children are the drivers of tomorrow and once we instill these values at a young age we will be able to effect change. We also expect training the boda boda operators will provide information and raise awareness that will bring about attitude and behavior change among them,” added Paulsen.
Paulsen hopes the program will increase commitment by other players on road safety and improve compliance on the same. The Police Senior Commissioner in charge of traffic and road safety Dr. Steven Kasiima who was also in attendance lauded Vivo Energy’s effort to add value to the country through this initiative.
According to Kasiima, corporate companies have been reluctant to support such initiatives opting instead to sponsor events that do not add value to the lives of Ugandans.
“We can have good roads, the best vehicles and sophisticated equipment but educating stakeholders will go a long way in effecting change in this country. Ignorance on our roads does not only affect the illiterate people but the literate ones as well and I thank Vivo Energy for identifying behavior change as a solution and partnering with us for this worthy course,” he said.
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