Amended Road Traffic Act to Cover Areas to Reduce Crashes

Photo: Mark Bell Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley (right), makes a point to Executive Director of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), Paula Fletcher (second right), at the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association Annual Launch of Road Safety Month, at the Molynes Road Texaco Station in St. Andrew, on June 7. Others (from left) are JGRA President, Phillip Chong, and Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Mike Henry.

Story Highlights

  • Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says certain areas to be covered in the amended Road Traffic Act will aid in the reduction of fatalities on the nation’s roads.
  • These include establishment of the Island Traffic Authority and its functions, the road code, classification of vehicles; revocation of certificates of fitness; refusal of the learner’s permit or driver’s licence; and offences related to the licensing of a driver.
  • Statistics cited by Dr .Wheatley, based on those published by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), revealed that since the start of the year, 149 persons have been killed in traffic crashes.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says certain areas to be covered in the amended Road Traffic Act will aid in the reduction of fatalities on the nation’s roads.

These include establishment of the Island Traffic Authority and its functions, the road code, classification of vehicles; revocation of certificates of fitness; refusal of the learner’s permit or driver’s licence; and offences related to the licensing of a driver.

“That is why we are vigorously pursuing the passage of the amended Road Traffic Act. The Government continues to take seriously its responsibility in creating safer roads, particularly for children and other vulnerable road users,” the Minister said.

Dr. Wheatley was speaking at the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) Annual Launch of Road Safety Month, at the Molynes Road Texaco Station in St. Andrew, on June 7.

The Minister called for more Jamaicans to exercise caution on the roadways.

“I am urging motorists to desist from speeding, to wear seat belts, practise defensive driving and to avoid the use of cell phones while driving,” he said.

The call was also extended to motorcyclists and pedestrians to exercise caution when using the roadways and to wear brightly coloured clothing where necessary, in order to increase visibility.

Statistics cited by Dr .Wheatley, based on those published by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), revealed that since the start of the year, 149 persons have been killed in traffic crashes.

The figure represents a 21 per cent decline over the similar period for 2016 when 170 deaths were recorded.

Meanwhile, Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, said the aim of the Government is to make it “safe and enjoyable” to travel on the roads.

He noted that the increasing number of people killed on the roads between the ages of 19 and 35 is “unacceptable” and it is important to pursue a decline in road fatalities.

Mr. Henry pointed out that fourth- and fifth-form students from the Denbigh High School in Clarendon will be trained in the analysis of the vehicle black box.

The black box or event data recorders (EDRs) are not only unique to airplanes, but can also be found in most motor vehicles.

They record not only times when an airbag has been deployed, but include information on vehicle speed, throttle position, whether the brakes were applied, if seatbelts were worn, engine speed and steering angles.

For his part, JGRA President, Phillip Chong, said that road safety has been a fixture of the organisation since 1990.

JIS Social