JIS News

The need for drivers to embrace and practise defensive driving techniques was highlighted at a Defensive Driving Seminar, held at the Old Port Antonio Marina in Portland on January 29.
The seminar, which was organised by the Road Safety Unit of the Ministry of Transport and Works, was attended by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA) and taxi operators in Port Antonio.
During the workshop, participants were given tips on ways to practise defensive driving, in addition to being shown a video testimonial of a traffic crash survivor.
Making the major presentation was Paul Clemetson, Director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Works.
Mr. Clemetson implored the participants to make every effort to adhere to the principles of defensive driving and emphasized that in so doing, they would be playing a major role in the drive to protect life and reduce the carnage, which has been occurring on Jamaican roads in recent years.
He noted that the Latin American and Caribbean region had the highest rate of traffic accidents in the world, and that this was occurring at an annual cost to the region of $65 billion. He said that amount of money could be better spent on projects promoting the economic and social development of the people of the countries involved. The Director stressed that defensive driving saves lives, time and money, and that the technique provides motorists with the competence to observe potential dangers and take the necessary steps to prevent them.
He said that plans are afoot to make it compulsory for all driving instructors and persons operating driving schools to be certified as defensive drivers, in order to ensure that persons learning to drive are instilled with the discipline of defensive driving.
Also addressing the seminar were: Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Floyd Patterson; Superintendent Dudley Scott of the Port Antonio Police Station; Marilyn Mc Donald, Portland Parish Manager of the Jamaica Public Service Company and Jonathon Lamey, Dean of Agriculture at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE).