On May 6, Vice Governor Anupap presided over an event held at Kathu Wittaya School to officially celebrate the road safety improvements in the area adjacent to the school “to be safe by five star standards”, reported the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).
The report by PR Phuket did not specify the exact changes made. Yet the announcement was posted online along with photos showing freshly painted road surface marking and curbstones on Wichit Songkhram Rd in front of the entrance to Kathu Wittaya School.
Speaking at the ceremony, Managing Director of Thai Bridgestone Co., Ltd. Keiji Chuma explained that road improvements represent only one of four vectors of Bridgestone Global Road Safety program implemented by the company and its partners worldwide and now in Phuket.
“Bridgestone Global Road Safety is a social activity that Bridgestone has jointly organised around the world to promote a safe driving society by focusing on raising awareness and changing attitude to road safety,” Mr Chuma said.
The four prongs of Bridgestone Global Road Safety are as follows:
- School Based Education – Developing knowledge about safe road use and proper behavior on the roads among students and teachers in target schools to reduce the risk of road accidents.
- Empowerment – Selection and training of Bridgestone Youth Champions to raise road safety awareness among other students, as well as support road safety activities at schools and share knowledge with piers.
- Road Safety Assessment – Selection of model schools across the country and assessment of road conditions in the surrounding areas using star ratings in terms of how safe the roads and pedestrian areas are for students, parents and teachers traveling to school and back.
- Local Engagement – Fostering a strong volunteer network in collaboration with local partners to upgrade road infrastructure around targeted schools to be safe and accident free.
Mr Chuma pointed out, that during the year to date Thai Bridgestone has selected eight Youth Champions from four schools around the country, namely Kathu Wittaya School in Phuket, Nakhon Sawan School in Nakhon Sawan, Khon Kaen Wittayon School 2 in Khon Kaen and Samakkhi Wittayakhom School 2 in Chiang Rai. Selected students underwent a training course in Bangkok and returned to their home provinces to share what they had learned. While in Bangkok, students were also invited to express their opinions on national road safety.
Kathu Wittaya School was also selected to take part in Road Safety Assessment and become a model school. In order to upgrade road infrastructure in the school area, Bridgestone joined forces with Cockpit car service center to improve pedestrian zones, install road signs and implement other measures to “help reduce the accident rate and losses that might be sustained by the school as well as the community and surrounding society”.
At the May 6 event, Vice Governor Anupap spoke in praise of all the efforts to improve road safety at Kathu Wittaya School and thanked all those involved.
“The initiative plays an important role in enhancing the effectiveness of preventing and reducing road accidents at the local level for achievement of more tangible and sustainable results. This experience can be extended to nearby localities along with spreading useful knowledge among schools and other communities,” Vice Governon Anupap said.
Of note, this year’s Songkran in Phuket was one of the worst in terms of road casualties with four deaths and 28 hospitalisations recorded during the so-called Seven Days of Danger from Apr 11 to April 17 inclusive. To put it into perspective, in 2021 the tally for the holiday week stood at one dead and 20 injured. In pre-pandemic 2019 five people died and 34 people were injured during the Seven Days of Danger which was declared the worst result in at least six years.