New Safety Technology Comes to Jamaica


Motorists travelling along Mountain View Avenue will soon be getting instant feedback on their speed to see whether or not they are obeying the prescribed speed limit.
3M Limited, an international traffic safety solutions provider, has partnered with the Jamaican Government to undertake a number of initiatives leading up to and on World Health Day, April 7, said Suzette Henriques, Marketing Coordinator at 3M Jamaica.
On Monday, April 5, 3M Jamaica Limited and the National Works Agency will be installing the country’s first permanent Driver Feedback Speed Sign (DFS) on Mountain View Avenue, in the vicinity of the Excelsior Community College.
“We have been doing this for a number of years and because of the number of road accidents that have been occurring on the road, we wanted to do something to help stem the number of accidents. We thought that it would be a good idea to get some of the DFS signs in the country,” said Ms. Henriques.
The sign, which has been customised for Jamaica, will have three sections; the standard speed limit sign (e.g.50 KPH), an electronic sign or Light Emitted Diode (LED) display section that will indicate the actual speed of approaching vehicles via radar, and the school crossing warning sign, which will be affixed when the sign is being installed locally.
“The sign has been made using reflective material so motorists will be able to see it both night and day. It is visible from a distance of 100 to150 metres,” she told JIS News.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) has purchased this first Driver Feedback Sign for Jamaica at a cost of approximately US$6000, revealed Ms. Henriques, but other costs might be incurred through installation and maintenance.
While the sign has an anti-graffiti and vandal or tamper-resistant feature so that it is not easily destroyed, 3M is appealing to the public to refrain from vandalising it and is assuring motorists that the sign is designed to help them keep their speed in check in the vicinity of the schools and it should not be seen as a sign for enforcement purposes.
“Sometimes we are speeding and we don’t even recognise how fast we are going because we are not watching the speedometer, so the DFS is there to act as a psychological cop for ourselves to say ‘Hey, I am exceeding the speed limit so I need to check my speed’,” Ms. Henriques said.
3M has also started Corporate Sponsorship for Road Safety programme, which was conceptualised and devised in 2003.
“The programme itself has just started, but the leg work of it was done in 2003, because we had to get approvals from the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and the National Works Agency for the signs to go on the road,” she said, “so that the programme only came to fruition this year when we got involved in the World Health Day programme established by the Government.”
3M has approached other corporate entities to solicit interest and support for the idea of introducing the Driver Feedback Signs in Jamaica, and so far a number of companies have shown a keen interest in supporting the programme, including British Caribbean Insurance Company (BCIC) and Western Union.
“We brought in one sign for the Government, and another one, which the Ministry of Health has committed to pay for. We feel confident that other companies and organisations will come on board…when you look at what the sign is doing and the benefits that will be derived from it, and the fact that you as a corporate company or corporate citizen is responsible for this, it far outweighs the cost of the sign,” Ms. Henriques told JIS News.
Based on the success of the Driver Feedback Speed sign in countries where they have been installed, 3M hopes that this success will be replicated in Jamaica, but much more corporate support is needed. 3M Jamaica Limited has also worked out different options for companies to choose from, where one can undertake to bring in a sign only or to pursue other projects using other safety solutions provided by 3M.
Companies or persons interested in supporting the Corporate Sponsorship for Road Safety programme, can contact Suzette Henriques at 3M Jamaica Limited at 937-3859 or shenriques1@3m.com.

JIS Social