RSTA starts advocacy program on road safety for civil servants

With traffic congestion and accidents getting to be an issue on the express way from Babisa to town areas, the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) has started to conduct a Road Safety course for civil servants in Thimphu.

The course aims to familiarize civil servants with the updated road safety rules and regulations in the country.

The program officer of RSTA, Sonam Dhendup, said that roads are being widened and accordingly road markings are being done to meet the requirements of new roads. “It is very important for people to understand new developments,” he said.

He added many of the civil servants have been holding a driver’s license for quite many years but they have not attended any kind of road safety advocacy such as what RSTA is conducting today. “There are gaps and certain rules are unknown to them, so it is very important that we create awareness among them,” said Sonam Dhendup.

The course focuses on the importance of following the proper lane, pedestrian crossing, traffic signs, signals, right of way rules and road markings.

Till now, the authority had been focusing on commercial drivers only.  For the first time, the employees of the finance ministry took part in the course.

Meanwhile, RSTA face challenges to solve issues like ownership transfer, advocacy related to honking and modification of vehicles due to increased import of vehicles in the country.

One of the participants said this kind of awareness course is helpful. “From this program I learnt about many road safety rules, starting from parking our cars to the right of way,” he said.

He added that now they can apply such rules and follow traffic instruction while driving. “This course might even help ease traffic congestion,” he said.

Another participant, Jangchub Dorji said this advocacy program will not only help drivers follow traffic rules but also benefit them when we travel abroad. “We will disseminate whatever we have learned to our colleagues as well,” he said.

He added that this kind of awareness program is important for civil servants because most of them have cars and in the past, they did not have a wide road with new road markings like the ones today. “Now, we are aware of the new road markings,” he said. 

The authority also plans to include corporate and private sector employees for advocacy programs. The traffic division will increase their awareness campaigns targeting pedestrians on the right of the road, traffic signals and road markings among others.

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu