Learning how to save lives in Belize


UK transport research organisation TRL is a delivery partner in the Belize Road Safety Project, which has been awarded a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its outstanding contribution to road safety.

TRL’s Darren Divall told Transport Network about the organisation’s contribution to the project.

Established by the Belize Government’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in 2013, the Belize Road Safety Project sought to drive a reduction in injuries and fatalities from traffic collisions along a demonstration corridor between Belize City and Belmopan.

Prior to the interventions, this corridor accounted for almost half of all road traffic deaths in Belize. At the end of December 2015, less than 10% of the country’s road deaths occurred there.

A workshop developing road safety education materials

The project consisted of an analysis of existing road safety procedures in the region, followed by the recommendation and implementation of a number of ‘safe system’ interventions to improve road safety.

This included the introduction of warning signals for drivers at night, patrol and emergency vehicles on highways and the development of a road safety curriculum for schools and teachers.

Also included in the project was an assessment of sections of the corridor under the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP).

Individual sections were given different safety ratings, identifying where the road needed most attention. Almost all sections of the highway received only one or two stars out of a potential five.

Physical interventions included improvements to highway shoulders and drainage, improvements to road markings and high visibility warning markings, carriageway resealing, junction improvements, pedestrian facilities including crossings, safety barriers and safer speeds. There was also a public relations campaign to inform the public.

TRL’s main contribution was in the form of a road safety education programme for schools along the corridor.

Darren Divall, TRL’s team leader, international road safety, told Transport Network that this used Jerome Bruner’s model of spiral learning, in which young people are given information and become active in the learning process by applying that information in the real world scenario before reflecting on the experience to better their understanding.

Mr Divall explained that the intention was to integrate road safety education into existing academic curriculum subjects, rather than produce a stand-alone road safety education curriculum. For example, children in nursery schools learning about shapes and colours would be asked to talk about the different shapes and colours of road signs as an introduction into their meaning.

Primary school children would be given practical pedestrian training and secondary school pupils studying science would took at road transport issues, including the use of seat belts and airbags.

The project used what it learned to engage with teachers and stakeholders in the Ministry of Education, developing instructional and interactive materials for teachers or students. There was also a pilot project in schools where teachers used the materials and were given equipment such as traffic cones and high visibility vests to support practical learning.

Mr Divall said it was important not to say ‘this is how we do it in other countries, because the road environment is very different’. As such, the pilot component of the project was to ‘localise the materials to that environment to maximise relevance’.

The project started in May 2014 and the pilot was completed in the summer of 2015. The Belize Ministry of Education is now taking the project forward to build capacity across the country. TRL has also delivered a similar project in Guyana.

Also see

Register now for full access

Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

comments powered by Disqus
highways jobs

Assistant Director - Growth and Development

Lincoln City Council
£59,058.00 - £65,127.00
Looking for an experienced manager with a good track record in proactively driving economic growth and investment. Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincoln City Council

Assistant Director – Transport and Connectivity

Birmingham City Council
£73,513 - £90,864
This is one of a number of influential new senior roles for collaborative people, motivated by doing what’s right for our city and residents. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Director (Environment and Planning)

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council
£77,265 p.a.
You will have a great opportunity to drive forward an ambitious strategic growth agenda... Hinckley, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

Service Director – Environment

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
Looking to recruit to a key post within our Economy and Infrastructure Directorate.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Transport & Development Officer (Career Grade)

London Borough of Bexley
£29,130 - £40,173
This is a Career Grade post and an excellent opportunity. Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Transport Planning Officer x 2

Plymouth City Council
£32,233 to £41,846
If you are an experienced Transport Planner then we need you to step aboard.  Plympton, Plymouth
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Transport Planning Officer x 2

Plymouth City Council
£32,233 to £41,846
Exciting time to join the Council and this role represents an opportunity to make a real difference... Plympton, Plymouth
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Waste and Fleet Operations Manager

Ipswich Borough Council
£52,020 - £56,100 (pay award pending)
Looking for someone to lead and manage a large and vital operational area... Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Ipswich Borough Council

Business Manager - Planning Development

Newark & Sherwood District Council
£52,004 to £55,188 per annum
Looking for a suitably qualified and experienced individual to lead, manage, and develop the Council’s Development Management team. Newark, Nottinghamshire
Recuriter: Newark & Sherwood District Council

Spatial Data Developer

West Midlands Combined Authority
£36275 - £40831 per annum + exclusive benefits
As a senior GIS developer you will work within our Data Insight team to apply your experience in open source geospatial data management technologies. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Innovation Integration Lead

West Midlands Combined Authority
£48758 - £54881 per annum + exclusive benefits
This is an exciting new post that will support the Head of Transport Innovation in the Policy, Strategy and Innovation Directorate of TfWM. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Transport Systems Engineer

West Midlands Combined Authority
£26238 - £30698 per annum + exclusive benefits
This is an exciting new post in the Transport Innovation team of TfWM’s Policy, Strategy and Innovation Directorate. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Senior Future Mobility Developer

West Midlands Combined Authority
£36275 - £40831 per annum + exclusive benefits
You will play a significant formative role in shaping and delivering a major new programme of Future Mobility Zones. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Assistant Spatial Data Analyst

West Midlands Combined Authority
£19698 - £22431 per annum + exclusive benefits
As a GIS Analyst you will work within TfWM’s extremely strong Data Insight team. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Senior Development Engineer

Bristol City Council
£27,358 - £33,136
Bristol is an exciting, and culturally thriving Regional Capital City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Senior Engineer

Hounslow London Borough Council
Scale PO5 £41,847 - £44,691
We are looking for an experienced Traffic & Parking Engineer, able to work quickly and efficiently across Hounslow (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hounslow London Borough Council

Principal Planner orPlanning Officer

Torridge District Council
Principal Planner up to £34,788 per annum / Planning Officer up to £31,371 per annum
Each role will provide rewarding opportunities to build experience and further your career. Bideford, Devon
Recuriter: Torridge District Council

Major Transport & Development Projects - Strategic Specialist

Wiltshire Council
£51,763 - £57,066
Wiltshire has a highly regarded record of securing funding and delivering major transport improvements across all modes of travel. Wiltshire
Recuriter: Wiltshire Council

Road Safety Manager

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£35991 - £38994 per annum
We are looking a fantastic new road safety expert to lead our high performing and innovative Road Safety Team. England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Sustainability Team Leader

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£41847 - £44691 per annum
Sustainability Team Leader Full Time (permanent contract)Grade
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich