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Bauxite/alumina company, Jamalco, has donated two radar guns to the Clarendon police traffic division to enhance its monitoring capabilities, as it seeks to reduce road fatalities along the major ‘hot spots’ in the parish.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony held on Thursday (February 25) at the Halse Hall Great House in Clarendon, Minister of National Security, Senator, Hon. Dwight Nelson expressed appreciation to Jamalco for its continued involvement in road safety in the parish.
Senator Nelson said Jamalco has over the years been an outstanding contributor to road safety in the parish through its efforts in road safety programme in schools.
“Jamalco’s continued involvement in the defensive driving sessions for taxi operators is a most commendable undertaking and for that as policy makers the government is most appreciative there is no doubt that this has gone a long way in reducing some of the carnage that we have had to face in the past,” he added.
Senator Nelson said that the government is committed to the implementation of the National Road Safety policy and will be placing emphasis on awareness signs, with safety messages.
This will involve road signs which highlight speed limits, with the radar guns assisting in enforcing these strategies.
Senator Nelson implored Jamaicans to make very effort to use the roads in a manner which show respect for others, and will keep everyone safe.
“Although we were not able to keep fatalities below the three hundred mark it is incumbent on me to thank those who made a concerted effort to drive safely. I am imploring everyone to do everything to make every effort to make this season, this lent season and beyond an accident free one. By so doing and if we accomplish this then we will have done human service to this country and its people in these tough economic times,” he said.
Senator Nelson pointed out that road accidents and fatalities amount to millions of dollars in expenses. “Last year it was estimated that some $100 million was spent by families for funeral expenses for relatives killed in traffic accidents. The Ministry of Health during the same period spent some $1.2 billion to treat persons injured in traffic accidents island wide,” he outlined.
He disclosed that his Ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Transport and Works in a new approach to monitoring motorists, in order to stem breaches of the Road Traffic Act.
“We have come up with a software and we have erected cameras in Half Way Tree and on South Camp Road which can check motorist as they drive, identify license plates on motor vehicles even if these vehicles are traveling up to two hundred miles per hour and can check that license plates data against a data bank that the police has .we have ran a pilot project and we have nabbed quite a few people,” he said
“I am calling on all motorists to desist from committing breaches of the road traffic act we will ensure that the laws are adhered to as officers from the highway patrol and the Clarendon division will be there to police these roads and append offenders,” Senator Nelson cautioned.