JIS News

KINGSTON – Director of the Road Safety Unit (RSU), Kenute Hare is imploring motorists, particularly back seat passengers, to wear protective devices and prevent fatalities, as occurred in Manchester on March 27, when a passenger died, after being thrown from a motor car.

Mr. Hare said that was a needless death, “that never had to happen,” emphasising that had the passenger been wearing a seat belt, it would have increased his chances of surviving.  

“Speeding was the fundamental reason why that crash happened, but if that back seat passenger had been attired in the seat belt, we would not be reporting that a passenger has been killed in a traffic collision by virtue of the fact that he was thrown from the vehicle,” said the RSU Head.

Mr. Hare appealed to drivers and motorcylists to exercise more care for their passengers, in ensuring that they too are protected in the traffic environment.  He encouraged persons not to travel in vehicles without seat belts in the back.

“The seat belt and the helmet are devices that are there to reduce the degree of injury in case of a collision. In case you suddenly decelerate, it will prevent you from hitting that dash board, from going through that wind screen, and from hitting that steering wheel,” he told JIS News.

Mr. Hare said the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will be stepping up enforcement of Section 43 of the Road Traffic Act, which speaks to the use of protective devices, to prevent and reduce fatalities due to lack of  seat belts, helmets or child restraint devices.

He added that 2011-2020 has been declared by the United Nations General Assembly as the ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety’, which mandates governments to implement programmes to ensure that persons operate in a safe traffic environment.

According to recent RSU statistics, 69 persons have perished in 49 road crashes since the start of the year. Nine of the road fatalities were private motor car passengers, while 12 were private motor car drivers?. Twenty-eight pedestrians were among the road users killed in traffic accidents.