JIS News

A defensive driving public education campaign dubbed ‘Drive for Life’ will be launched by the Road Safety Unit in November.
The campaign is designed to equip drivers with the necessary defensive driving techniques for the nation’s roads.
Director of the Road Safety Unit, Paul Clemetson, said the campaign “will endeavour to instill knowledge, awareness and discipline that many drivers did not acquire when they were being trained for their licence.”
The Director, who was speaking at a Sponsors’ Breakfast hosted by the Unit recently at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, said that the campaign will also bring to focus, the consequences of traffic violations, and how these relate to the perpetrator, other road users, the health sector, and the economy.
The Road Safety Unit reported that 256 persons have been killed since the start of the year and 73 per cent of those killed were passengers in private motor vehicles.
September 24 and 25 were the two most deadly days of the year, when 10 private motor vehicle passengers died in St. Catherine as a result of improper overtaking and speeding by drivers.
Mr. Clemetson said that the number of crashes for this year is likely to exceed the number for last year. He noted that, “2006, is the first time in five years that Jamaica did not experience a decline in road crashes.”
“What this speaks to is the necessity for some type of intervention to prevent the mayhem and carnage we are experiencing on our roadways,” he stated, noting that quite a lot of traffic crashes are as a result of the blatant disregard of simple road rules. In the meantime, Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Henry said that he would be looking at the road laws that exist.
This is necessary, he said, to attack the issue of reckless driving on the roads. “The need to influence a change in drivers’ attitude and behaviour cannot be overstressed. Indiscipline on the nation’s roadways has become rampant. Traffic crashes are depleting the essential human, physical and financial resources, all critical elements of the national development of the country,” he stated.

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