Just last week we showed you a tragic accident on the Western Highway that claimed the lives of four persons in one family.
The problem is the limestone surface - that becomes slick with even a light rain. Well, now, help is on the way; Belize has secured funding for a road safety improvement project.
It is 7.2 million US dollar loan from the Caribbean development Bank, which will be used to upgrade roads, educate the public and deploy more enforcement personnel.
According to the figures, Belize recorded 70 road traffic deaths in 2009, equivalent to 21 traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, which is the highest fatality rate of the 17 Borrowing Member Countries of the CDB.
The CDB says that this is disturbing both as a public health issue, and also "translates into significant social and economic impacts due to lost productivity and increased vulnerability to poverty."
And so the funds will be used to upgrade fifty miles of primary roads from 1 and 2-star safety levels to a minimum of 3-stars.
Additionally, 100 teachers are to be trained to deliver a road safety curriculum to 2,000 students.
Also, 20 public officers will be trained in road safety management, and 35 more will be trained in traffic law enforcement.
The release does not say when work will commence.
BELMOPAN, Belize -- Belize recorded 70 road traffic deaths in 2009, equivalent to 21 traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, giving it the highest fatality rate of the borrowing member countries of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
The Bank is of the view that the high death rate from road traffic incidents in Belize is not only disturbing from a public health point of view, but also translates into significant social and economic impacts due to lost productivity and increased vulnerability to poverty.
CDB has approved a loan to the government of Belize of an amount equivalent to US$7.248 million for a project to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents. This will be achieved through improving the safety of road infrastructure along a demonstration corridor; changing road user behaviour through increased awareness and understanding of the issue; traffic law enforcement support; post-crash response support; and road safety management capacity building.
In the area of education and training, 100 teachers are to be trained to deliver road safety curriculum to 2,000 students. With regard to social and economic infrastructure, 80 kilometres of primary roads are to be upgraded from 1 and 2-star safety levels to a minimum of 3-star for all road users.
In addition, capacity development will be enhanced with 20 public sector employees trained in road safety management, and 35 public sector employees trained in traffic law enforcement.
However, the main beneficiaries of the road project will be the thousands of vehicle occupants who travel from Belize City to Hattieville, and from Hattieville to Belmopan each day.