They also announced the launch of the ‘Road Accident Victim’s Fund’ for addressing the issue of speedy monetary aid to road accident victims, many of whom are financially-weak.
Conceived and launched by IAHV, The Road Peace campaign started in March 2006 and supported by Dubai Police with H.E. Commander-in-Chief Dhahi Khalfan Tamim as its Patron. The campaign has Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Municipality, the Ministry of Education and International Humanitarian City as Logistical Support Patrons and Mr. Mohammed Bin Sulayem , President of Emirates Automobile and Touring Club as its Brand Ambassador.
Significantly, the Road Alertness Programme has already attracted the support of the corporate sector with Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (Middle East) Limited E.C., a leading global general insurance company with operations in over 130 countries, coming on board as a corporate sponsor. Over and above its participation in the Road Alertness Programme, Royal & SunAlliance has also committed to donating a percentage of the proceeds from every policy sold till the end of 2007 towards the “Accident Victims Fund”. Each policy will be accompanied by a free attendance pass to IAHV’s Road Alertness Programme and a leaflet highlighting the benefits and methods of stress-free diving.
Commenting on the Road Alertness Programme, Brigadier Mohammed Saeed Al Marri, Deputy Director, General Department of Community Service, Dubai Police said: “In line with the UN Road Safety Week and as part of our own focus on making Dubai roads friendlier and safer, we are delighted to announce that we have partnered with IAHV to launch a special driver alertness programme.
“The programme, which is an excellent example of Government, NGO and private sector collaboration, involves a certified four-day course for drivers, and more importantly, the voluntary fee charged for this course will go towards a special Road Accident Victim’s Fund that will be jointly managed by Dubai Police, IAHV and other nominated government bodies. The policies and procedures along with other specifics of the fund are currently being finalized and will be unveiled shortly,” Brigadier Al Marri added.
The ‘Road Alertness Programmes’ are one of the series of nine initiatives launched in April 2006 by IAHV for Road Peace in Dubai in association with Art of Living Foundation. Advising on the same, Dr. Prabhakar Rao, Chief Operating Officer, IAHV, quoted: “A stress-free mind and a disease-free body are the birthright of every individual.’’ He elaborated further, “Neither at home, nor at work or on the road have we learnt how to handle our negative emotions. The result of accumulated stress and negative emotions is poor health, anger, irritability and general frustration. Studies have shown that almost all road accidents and fatalities are the result of lack of awareness and momentary lapse of attention at the time of the mishap. It has also been proven that when the community takes responsibility for its problems, progress occurs at a faster rate. The four-day ‘Road Alertness Programme’ is a powerful workshop that involves an hour-and-a-half daily sessions designed to improve mental, physical and emotional well-being and improve alertness of mind while driving, working or at home”.
“Additionally, it is also a known fact that many of the victims of road accidents in Dubai and around the world do not have the funds, thus causing major hindrances to their necessary treatment and rehabilitation. Thus, as part of our vision of wellness for everyone and with the aim of addressing this issue, we decided to initiate the Road Accident Victim’s Fund in association with Dubai Police. It is also very heartening to know that we have received across the board support from the various related departments of the government as well as the private sector for this initiative and I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to them for their support,” Dr. Rao added.
Commenting on the reasons for their support to the Road Alertness Program, Paul W. Holmes, CEO – UAE, Royal & SunAlliance Insurance, stated: “The emerging issue of increasing road accidents in the UAE is a concern to the insurance industry and to Royal & SunAlliance as a leading insurer of motor risks in this region.
“Although we have supported smaller charity initiatives here in the past, it has been our intention to demonstrate our continued commitment to the UAE and the wider Middle East community as a Good Corporate Citizen by putting in place a sustained Corporate Responsibility programme aligned with our core business. I am happy to announce that the Royal & SunAlliance Road Safety Alertness initiative and our contribution to the Road Accident Victims Fund are the first steps in this direction. We are keen to support the efforts of the Dubai Police and the IAHV towards this worthy cause.
“This initiative is in fact a part of the wider Royal & SunAlliance Group’s global commitment to corporate responsibility which is reflected in the Group’s business principles of Integrity, Performance and Responsibility, its commitments to all its stakeholders as well as in its programmes across the world such as reducing unwanted risks, improving road and water safety standards and awareness, reducing environment risks, supporting environmental charities and initiatives, community engagement programmes and supporting the Red Cross,” Mr. Holmes added.
The Road Alertness Programme which has been ongoing since April 2006 has already conducted workshops for over 2000 drivers, and has already received strong response with ADCO registering over 2,000 of its drivers and Dubai Municipality registering over 400 drivers for the programme.
During each four-day workshop, participants are introduced to various sound and breath-based techniques that are scientifically proven to calm the mind and emotions. They will also be inspired to improve their lifestyle and habits by reducing consumption of junk foods, drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables and getting involved in service projects designed to contribute to the environment and community that they live in. Some of the community service projects include taking responsibility for maintenance of their cars and cars of at least five people known to them, use of seat-belts and either discouraging use of mobile phones while driving or encouraging use of a hands-free option if necessary.
Since happiness is an important quotient in a healthy community, each daily session ends with students hailing from diverse cultural backgrounds singing songs that highlight the universal themes of love, peace and harmony. When the students leave the class each day, they experience a happiness that they carry back into their lives.
Going forward and based on the overwhelming benefits of the programme, its promoters are confident not just of a continued strong response but also of making a significant difference to safety on Dubai roads, through enhanced alertness and de-stressing of drivers.
Tuesday, April 24- 2007 @ 14:36 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.