|Thursday, 24 June 2004|
Courteous Drivers' Week launched with motor rally
The Courteous Drivers' Week Programme, intended to minimize the increasing rate of road accidents got under way on Monday (June 21) morning with the holding of an impressive motor vehicle rally which started from Galle Face Green.
The Motor Vehicle Parade comprising an assortment of State and private sector vehicles comprising cars, buses, vans, lorries, three-wheelers, motor cycles and pedal cycles was flagged off from the Galle Face Green by the Minister of Public Security, Law and Order, Minister of Buddha Sasana and Deputy Minister of Defence Ratnasiri Wickremanayake.
The event was witnessed by Minister of Forestry and Environment A.H.M. Fowzie, Secretary Ministry of Public Security Law and Order Tilak Ranaviraja, the Inspector General of Police Indra de Silva, Senior DIGs and SSPs and senior public officials.
One of the noteworthy features of the event was the participation of members of the Private Bus Operators' Association and Three-Wheeler Drivers' Association which have pledged their fullest support towards the successful implementation of the Courteous Drivers' Week Programme.
The Courteous Drivers' Week Programme which entails an extensive awareness programme of road safety measures among the public also stresses on the strict enforcement of the law governing road safety.
While the Police Department plays a major role several other Ministries and State institutions have been assigned specific tasks to be performed.
The Motor Rally which started off from Galle Face Green wended its way to the Vihara Maha Devi Park where a road safety demonstration was held, witnessed by private and State sector drivers, bus drivers, three-wheeler drivers and motor cyclists.
School traffic wardens and students and teachers from a cross section of schools in and around Colombo also witnessed the Traffic Demonstration performed by the Police Motor Traffic Department.
Tilak Ranaviraja, Secretary of the Ministry in his brief address at the traffic demonstration said that today on an average five fatal accidents take place each day.
Last year also in 2003 there were nearly 2,000 deaths due to road accidents and out of this about 250 were students. It is in view of this alarming rate of accidents that the President advised that some concrete action be taken to at least minimize accidents.
He said that the Courtesy Drivers Week Programme will not be confined to the week alone but would be a continuous process. During the week greater emphasis will be laid on specific tasks assigned to the respective Ministries and Departments.
He said that if they were able to significantly at least reduce the number of accidents they would have achieved much.
He appealed to all grades of police officers and other State institutions for their unstinted cooperation to make this programme a success.
At the end of the road safety demonstration certificates awarded by the Motor Traffic Division of the Police were distributed to a cross section of drivers, three-wheelers and school wardens and teachers for their contribution towards road safety measures.
Secretary Ranaviraja, IGP, DIGs, ANCL Chairman Janadasa Peiris, Commissioner of Motor Traffic B. Wijeratne, Neville Nanayakkara, Government Printer, Stanley Fernando, President of Private Bus Operators' Association and Lalith Dharmasekera, President of the Three-Wheelers' Association were among those who distributed the certificates.
Produced by Lake House