19/12/2008

Migrants Targeted In Road Safety Drive

A new hi-tech initiative to increase road safety awareness among migrant communities has been launched.

Northern Ireland Environment Minister Sammy Wilson's pre Christmas initiative came as a result of the increasing number of foreign nationals living and working in Northern Ireland.

The Minister said that a special multimedia guide aimed at the Polish, Lithuanian, Portuguese and Chinese communities was a good idea.

The 'Better Driving Behaviour' pack, Mr Wilson said, is part of a scheme by the Department of the Environment (DOE) to ensure its road safety messages were available to these new communities.

The Minister explained: "Northern Ireland has become a home to people of many different nationalities over recent years, and some have come from places with very different driving cultures.

"All drivers, including those who have come from abroad, need to have an understanding of key road safety issues and a knowledge of the rules of the road. Road safety information must be accessible to all who need it, and this package will be circulated to some of the largest foreign national communities," he said.
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The foreign language package contains a DVD with five new instructional advertisements that will provide all drivers with a reminder of the need for attentive driving.

The advertisements, together with the current portfolio of successful television and radio advertisements, have been translated into Polish, Lithuanian, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese.

A CD-Rom containing translations of the recently revised Highway Code is also included in the package.

The Department has also produced two leaflets - one which provides guidance on the legal requirement to use the correct car seat for a child and the second with information on the effects of alcohol on driving.

Minister Wilson concluded: "My Department is responsible for ensuring everyone who uses the road has a firm grasp of what is expected of them.

"That is why we have produced this multimedia pack - to ensure that those who have come from near and far to live among us are au fait with the rules of the road as they operate in Northern Ireland."

The package will be distributed among the four foreign national groups across Northern Ireland.

Downloadable versions of the Highway Code and leaflets will also be made available on the road safety website at www.roadsafetyni.gov.uk

(BMcC/KMcA)

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