Road safety – stop fooling everyone

Reference is made to a previous article which was featured on Maltawinds on 10th May entitled Road Accident Statistics – A Complete Failure.  This article was a reaction to the unwarranted claim that there was an improvement in road safety performance.  The road fatality statistics being quoted now, whereby road traffic fatalities have doubled, reflect a culmination of situations, trends and bad habits which were bred to prevail.

Road Safety is a shared responsibility.  This means that we are all responsible for road safety.  Vehicle drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, driving instructors, truck drivers, bus drivers, the technician fixing the traffic lights, the engineers who design roads, crane operators, construction site managers, the police, the local wardens, parents, peers, the Planning Authority, the Health and Safety Authority, Water Services Department and Enemalta who constantly dig trenches and Transport Malta which is a major key player.

The Terms of Reference for the Malta Road Safety Council were launched in 2014 with pomp and glamour.  However, the Malta Road Safety Council boiled down to a conglomeration of people from different sectors and managed by Mr Pierre Vella who is an accountant by profession and a journalist by way of a hobby.  The first Malta Road Safety Strategy had also been launched.  It is a well written and comprehensive document however, given the road safety performance of the country, one very much doubts that anybody is following up on the proposals of such document other than road safety advertising being managed by the council.

During the past year, the technical aspect of road safety within Transport Malta has been managed by Mr Silvio Scerri.  Mr Scerri is an excellent businessman specialising in lighting systems.  He has ample experience in providing and managing the lighting systems of large-scale events such as at Ta’ Qali, Hal Far, Fosos, etc.  He was Chief of Staff of Minister Manuel Mallia when the latter was responsible for the Police Force and when two Police Commissioners suddenly and unexplainably resigned – a coincidence maybe?    We are convinced that his specialisation in lighting systems and the fact that he now manages the preparation of traffic light tenders and their implementation and maintenance are not correlated in any way. 

So, road safety in Malta is being managed and coordinated by two individuals who were politically appointed.  The tax payer is paying these two people to manage and coordinate road safety in Malta. Needless to say, the statistics speak for themselves and we are obviously not surprised.