|Morocco hosts first cross-Maghreb road safety workshop
Maghreb road safety officials meet in Rabat to tackle the issue of traffic accidents. "Practical solutions to bring an end to this problem exist," said the president of Prévention Routière Internationale.
The first Maghreb workshop on road safety wrapped up in Rabat on Thursday (February 19th). The forum, entitled "The role of safety policies against violence on the roads", is a practical outworking of decisions taken at the eleventh session of the Maghreb council of transport ministers held in Skhirat between March 27th and March 29th, 2007.
The two-day workshop, the first of its kind, sought to bring together Maghreb officials responsible for road safety. According to many participants, the number of accidents in the region continues to rise, despite stepped-up road safety campaigns. The accidents result in higher social costs each year.
"Morocco is ready to share its experience in scientific research on road safety with the other Maghreb countries," said Moroccan Minister of Equipment and Transport Karim Ghellab.
"The problem of road traffic accidents is a complex one," he added. "So a partnership in sharing experiences is proving necessary, if there is to be an end to the slaughter taking place on the roads. Maghreb societies are very similar, and so are the problems facing the whole Maghreb. By working together, we can improve our collective performance on road safety."
In a speech delivered on his behalf at the inaugural session, Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) Secretary-General Habib Ben Yahya welcomed the workshop. Ben Yahya commended the programme put together by the Maghreb body to prevent road traffic accidents, based essentially on reinforcing practical and legislative measures concerning road safety.
"It is certainly necessary to step up controls and sanctions to limit the ever-growing problem of accidents," said Afifi Fariki, president of the Arab Road Safety Organisation, "but not to neglect a more educational approach based on raising public awareness."