The VIA Global Road Safety Education Programme is aimed at educating children between 10 to 18 years of age on the importance of road safety through four (4) structured learning modules. Its participatory approach and methodology can be applied universally, which encourages national adaptation to suit the local contexts and needs. To date, VIA is currently being implemented in 15 countries around the world; and the VIA Community will continue to expand.
In Asia Pacific, Total Fiji adopted the latest implementation of VIA in the country, with the initial goal to deploy VIA in 15 schools. In February 2021, officers from Land Transport Authority Fiji and Fiji Police Force attended the VIA Training of Trainers Workshop organized by Total Fiji and delivered digitally by GRSP, the global manager of VIA. On 17 March 2021, the VIA Programme was officially launched at Marist Brothers High School with support from the key stakeholders in Fiji.
The Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts (MEHA) joined with the Land Transport Authority of Fiji (LTA), the Fiji Police Force and Total (Fiji) Pte Limited to embark on the VIA Programme, a new road safety education initiative in Fiji.
“Too many times, we have come across situations where our young ones have shown a blatant disregard for road rules,” said Minister Akbar, adding that in recent years, Fiji has seen a steady increase in the number of vehicles on Fijian roads, which also increases the risk of crashes.
“This needs to change […]. Our children are our future, which means that it is our duty to take all the necessary steps to protect them. This is an important aspect of that duty, and I ask that you help us in keeping our children safe.” said Minister Akbar, “The VIA program is a flexible, cost-effective, easy to integrate and easy to access road safety education program […]. We look forward to its success in Fiji with the help of our partners.”.
The Managing Director of Total Fiji, Kazi Rahman, was also present to officiate the launch of the VIA programme. He expressed his gratitude to all the stakeholders involved, including principals and headteachers, for their vision and leadership towards making this programme impactful. “Without the wholehearted support and guidance of these stakeholders, all of whom are driven by the vision of creating safer roads for our children, we would not have been able to launch this programme successfully.”. He also highlighted the approval from the Ministry of Education to roll out the programme in Fijian schools.
“Children are some of the world’s most vulnerable road users and we know that preventable road crashes are the leading cause of death for those aged from five to 29 years. The number of children and young adults killed and seriously injured every day remains a catastrophe in every country. The VIA programme uses state of the art learning programmes to explain road safety concepts and we at the Global Road Safety Partnership are thrilled at the high level of senior government, police and partner support for the programme in Fiji.”
– David Cliff, CEO of GRSP
The event was covered by all national media and Fiji Government media personal and was published on the press, air and digital. More than 930 students attended the event which was held at Marist Brothers High school. Please refer to the below links for more details on the launch event.
- Fiji Times, VIA Programme Targets Safe Road User Behaviour among Children
- Fiji Times, Too Many Children Involved in Accidents