First Nationwide Women Safety Alliance Meeting for Promotion of Safety Culture
The first nationwide women safety alliance gathering for promotion of safety culture was held with the participation of more than 1,500 women active in social affairs and NGO groups, including members of the NGO network, women cultural social centers, cultural houses and the organizing staff of NGOs as well as a number of women injured in incidents.
The event was held on June 16, 2016 at the IRIB Convention Center in the presence and under the support of dignitaries, including Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs, head of the Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, Women Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of Road and Urban Development and a number of other ministries, and also women specialists, veterans, artists, media members, etc.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mohammad Bokharaei, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Road Safety Supporters Society (RSSS), while welcoming the audience said the objective behind holding the gathering was to participate women supporters of road safety in line with the slogan of promoting culture of road safety in the year of ‘economic culture and support for national determination’. He added that on the eve of this year’s New Year, a similar gathering with the presence and participation of 1000 public transportation drivers was held.
He described women as one of the most effective demographic spectrums who play an influential role in the development of safety culture and said with the support of this spectrum traffic crashes can be reduced to a great extent.
The Chairman of RSSS Board of Directors also referred to the calendar year 1392 (2013/2014) when 24% of the fatalities of urban traffic crashes were women and noted that the average age of the women killed in traffic crashes was 28 years, which shows that traffic crashes have claimed the lives of many would-be mothers.
He added: “The presence of women in the victory of the (1979) Islamic Revolution, the Sacred Defense (Iraqi war against Iran 1980-88) and development of construction has been very strong and for this reason women can be effective in reducing the damage caused by traffic crashes.”
Bokharaei put the number of deaths in 2013/2014 at 18,000 despite some reduction and said 310 thousand people were also wounded in traffic crashes. The survivors of the crashes who are mainly women are a group who suffer highly.
The Chairman of RSSS Board of Directors also pointed to the holding of the third gathering of advocates of road safety with the presence of the clergy and said such gatherings are planned to be held with the participation of university students and academics.
Meanwhile, Ms. Shahindokht Mullaverdi, Vice-President for Women and Family Affairs told the gathering that the frequency of traffic crashes in the country is an alarming issue. “The risk is endangering all and all of us are responsible towards this issue.” Stressing that development of a sense of social responsibility should be put on the government agenda as well as the entire system, she noted that there is this reality that every time the civil society has been weakened and the government in different political, social, economic and cultural areas has become oversized, inefficiencies have become more and as a result dissatisfaction has increased. “In order to pass through this weak civil society and reach a dynamic, happy and powerful society, a remedy should be sought.”
The Vice-President also expressed hope that in a year which demands national determination and jihadi management for economy and culture, positive and effective steps will be taken on the culture of road safety in which women can play a significant role and the necessary infrastructures will be provided for this purpose.
Another speaker of the gathering, Deputy Road and Urban Development Minister and Head of the Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization Engineer Davoud Keshavarzian while appreciating the organizers of the forum, said that each year thousands of people are killed and wounded in traffic crashes. “Although vehicle and road play their role in traffic crashes and can enhance human error, however the human factor is involved in these incidents as the most important factor. But, it should be realized that the degree of human error of the one driving in an equipped car is not the same as the driver of a vehicle with insufficient equipment.”
The head of the Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization stressing that good roads will reduce human casualties, noted that his organization is making effort to minimize the share of the road in traffic crashes as much as possible. Referring to the important role of human beings in traffic crashes, he pointed out that for the sake of culture building in this regard, all social organizations should play a part and expressed hope that such gatherings will be effective in reducing traffic crashes and in attracting the public attention and making people more sensitive.
It should be noted that in this gathering, three specialized sessions and two short films titled “Warning” and “Crash Survivors” and five educational short films in animation form were presented.
In the first session, members of the panel were Mesdames Dr. Jalali, Dr. Khalooq and Fariba Kowsari who discussed about safety indicators in Iran and the world.
The title of the second session was public demand in the field of road safety in which Mesdames Dr. Amiri, Dr. Shariati, Dr. Tabibi and Mohammadi Peykar discussed the topic with the participation of the audience.
The third and the last panel was held with the participation of Mesdames Engineer Moqimi, Dr. Shahsavand and Dr. Navabinejad during which the plan for effective participation of women in the promotion of safety culture was discussed with the participation of the audience.
In conclusion of the discussions, Ms. Engineer Sadeqi, the Secretary of the conference, presented the following sum-up of the topics discussed in the three panels:
• Measures to be followed up by executive agencies and public organizations for promotion of road safety
1. Strengthening the safety structure in the government body and designating a specified custodian to overcome the problems and reduce intercity and intracity fatalities (cross-organizational structure under the supervision of the President)
2. Allocating a percentage of the revenues of insurance companies for promotion of safety culture through implementation of educational and promotional programs by using public organizations and educational institutions
3. Developing control networks for the physical and mental health of drivers of public vehicles through the private sector and under the supervision of the government and making constant monitoring of the status of drivers of public vehicles mandatory
4. Using women police as regulatory safety patrols, especially in educational areas
5. Strengthening and boosting enforcements in the county and optimum use of the organized public forces as the Subtle Police in line with promotion of safety culture
6. Designing and developing a national symbol and installing it in all places where road traffic crashes have claimed the lives of one of our loved ones
7. Increasing the extent of road safety training in educational text books for different age groups
8. In the scouts programs “Safety Scouts” should have a place too
9. Organizing specific educational workshops at the level of neighborhoods and parks for the local people and description of the driving effects under the influence of barbiturates, alcohol, drowsiness, stress, anger and nervousness and ...
10. Identification and appreciation of those who have taken a positive step in promotion of safety culture in any field and any region
11. Repetition of driving violations should be turned into crime and also, mandatory training networks should be developed for the drivers and those who are not eligible should be banned from driving
12. Paying special attention to the training of motorcyclists and their safety tips with regard to the fact that (about 46% of the traffic fatalities relate to the motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists) as well as mandatory training of motorcyclists instead of seizing their motorbikes
13. Developing driving training simulators for the children, promoting the sound way of driving from childhood and developing traffic educational spaces in parks and playgrounds for kids
14. Interaction with religious missionaries and the related networks, including the Friday Prayers Council for attaching importance to safety issues and respecting the law in religious beliefs
15. Correcting the society’s misconceptions with regard to women drivers
16. Transparency in the system of statistics and data about crashes and definition of different levels of access to this information
17. Serious measure in the field of standardization of vehicles
18. Developing specific campaigns for women alignment for the promotion of safety culture throughout the country (by using virtual space)
At the end of the first nationwide women gathering for promotion of safety culture a covenant letter was read out by the Secretary of the conference which received approval of all the participants.
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