President Rajapaksa has underscored the need for another humanitarian operation on roads to save the thousands of valuable lives lost and those injured by road accidents similar to the operation which vanquished terrorism.
The President said that statistics of road accidents and their causes emphasize need for urgent action to change this situation as they progress on the road to economic development and a free society. It is not possible to move ahead on the road to sustainable development without increasing and improving the standards of human safety on roads. It is time to have a clear Road Map to Road Safety in Sri Lanka. The President emphasized that he is committed to encourage and support every positive action taken towards better road safety in the country. For nearly thirty years, the country was embroiled in a conflict. It is now over with the humanitarian operation to defeat the forces of terror to which the entire nation contributed. Another humanitarian operation was needed on the roads to save the thousands of valuable lives lost and those injured by road accidents each year. The President added that they cannot permit this tragedy to continue on the roads.
The President was addressing the 2011 National Road Safety Conference in Colombo. The meeting was a joint effort by the Transport Ministry and the National Council for Road Safety. The United Nations and the World Health Organization supported the conduct of the event. The Road Safety Emblem was presented to the President by the World Health Organization Resident Representative in Sri Lanka F.R. Mehta. Thereafter the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Road Safety was presented to the President. A Replica of a bus which displays the sticker of Road Safety was also handed over to the President. Raising awareness on the display of the Road Safety Sticker on buses took place under the patronage of Minister Kumara Welgama.
The Minister said it was not a difficult task to arrest road accidents for the Government which succeeded in eliminating terrorism which scourged the country for three decades.
2011 – 2020 is declared the as the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. Traffic Administration and Road Safety DIG Ashoka Wijetilake said this initiative has been taken to streamline the operation of vehicles and to ensure the safety of pedestrians. Several Parliamentarians, IGP Mahinda Balasuriya, Police Officers and World Bank Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Diarietou Gaye were present.