|P & T Minister, Biyiti Bi-Essam (standing)|
It is common to see drivers and pedestrians alike today on the streets with ICT tools at their finger tips to communicate across the world as they drive or cross the road.
Some even choose entertainment options like music, radio, television or social media.
According to the United Nations road safety collaboration report released by UN scribe, Ban Ki-moon, 1.3 million people die each year in traffic related accidents and another 20-50 million people are injured mainly in developing countries around the world.
Driver distraction and road-user behavior which includes ‘text messaging’ and interfacing with in-vehicle navigation or communication systems while driving, are amongst the leading contributors to road traffic fatalities and injuries.
The focus of the 2013 edition of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day(WTISD) commemorated under the theme “ICTs and improving road safety” was to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies.
In his message to the world on the occasion, the UN secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recalls that the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2011 to 2020 is dedicated to helping make roads and vehicles safer worldwide.
“Information and communication technologies provide many options”, the UN scribe notes.
Mr Ban Ki-Moon opines that intelligent transport systems and navigation devices can help reduce congestion.
“Radars can help to prevent collision with other road users, including pedestrians”.
On his part, the Secretary General of the ITU, Dr Hamadou I. Touré called on drivers not to be distracted technology when driving.
“Sending a text message or tweeting while driving while driving is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all cost”.
Presiding at an event to mark the 148th World Telecommunication and Information Society Day in Yaounde, the Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Jean Pierre Biyiti Bi-Essam urged that Cameroonians should use ICTs to sensitize their peers on road safety tips through the social media networks.
He lauded the vigorous road safety campaign by the Secretariat of State for Defense in charge of the national gendarmerie.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi