JCF Gets Black Box Kits to Analyse Accidents

Photo: Melroy Sterling Minister of Transport and Mining Hon. Mike Henry (centre), addresses the launch of the United Nations (UN) Global Road Safety Week, yesterday (May 4) at the Ministry’s Maxfield Avenue offices. Others (from left) are Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague and Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, says the Ministry is fully committed to using modern technology to analyse all traffic crashes.
  • He noted that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has been given two Black Box kits to ensure that they are able to better investigate and analyse accidents.
  • Black Boxes are data recorders that preserve inputs from the vehicle’s sensors. This often includes the five to 10 seconds before an accident occurs. After an accident, the data can be downloaded and stored to help determine conditions that contributed to the crash.

Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, says the Ministry is fully committed to using modern technology to analyse all traffic crashes.

He noted that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has been given two Black Box kits to ensure that they are able to better investigate and analyse accidents.

“I want to see the Black Box fully utilised to determine the cause of traffic crashes, and I am advising motorists that there are going to be consequences for their actions. I want the Accident Investigation and Reconstruction Unit to ensure that all motor vehicles involved in traffic crashes are subjected to a Black Box analysis,” Mr. Henry said.

Mr. Henry was speaking at the launch of the United Nations (UN) Global Road Safety Week, on Thursday, May 4 at the Ministry’s Maxfield Avenue offices.

Black Boxes are data recorders that preserve inputs from the vehicle’s sensors.

This often includes the five to 10 seconds before an accident occurs. After an accident, the data can be downloaded and stored to help determine conditions that contributed to the crash.

The Minister noted that it is important that the Ministry gets to the root cause of these crashes, so that the requisite road-safety remedial measures can be taken.

“It would be foolhardy of me not to condemn the indiscipline, impatience and wanton lawlessness on the road network. But this is by no means to discount the role of poor road conditions and vehicle defects,” Mr. Henry said.

“It is important that in developing and designing our roads we utilise high-skid-resistant material that is readily available, since our limestone polishes over time and renders the road surface unsafe,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Henry said Jamaica will celebrate the Global Road Safety Week with activities in the churches, schools and communities across the country.

“I appeal to all the churches this weekend, join with us as we set ourselves on the pathway to hurriedly bring road fatalities below 300,” he urged.

For his part, Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, noted that in 2012, some 3.7 per cent or more than 23,358 of accident and emergency cases were due to intentional injuries, which include motor-vehicle crashes.

He pointed out that the overall cost of hospital care for the treatment of injuries is estimated at US$33.4 million or 20 per cent of the health budget. He added that in 2010, 10-year data from the Jamaica Trauma Registry showed that trauma accounted for 20 per cent of surgical admissions.

“The University Hospital of the West Indies recently did a study of a case involving a motorcyclist not wearing a helmet, met in an accident and they estimate that at the end, that person would have absorbed some $16 million of cost, including things like CT Scans, operating theatre, blood transfusion and intensive care,” the Minister said.

Dr. Tufton also gave his support for the fourth UN Global Road Safety Week which will be held from May 8-14, 2017 under the theme ‘Slow it Down’.

The week of activities will focus on speed and what can be done to arrest this risk factor for road traffic crashes, deaths and injuries.

More than 50 per cent of road crashes in low- and middle-income countries are caused by speeding. In Jamaica last year, 379 persons were killed in road traffic crashes and, so far, this year the figure stands at 110.

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