JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has given the Government’s commitment to make road safety a priority.
  • Mr. Holness gave the pledge at a meeting with Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, members of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), and other stakeholder groups at the Office of the Prime Minister on April 7.
  • The meeting discussed measures to address the upsurge in road crashes, which have claimed 111 lives since the start of the year.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has given the Government’s commitment to make road safety a priority.

Mr. Holness gave the pledge at a meeting with Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry, members of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), and other stakeholder groups at the Office of the Prime Minister on April 7.

The meeting discussed measures to address the upsurge in road crashes, which have claimed 111 lives since the start of the year. The figure is six more than the 105 fatalities for the corresponding period in 2015.

The most recent incident involved a two-vehicle collision along the Falmouth Bypass in Trelawny on Tuesday (April 5), which claimed three lives.

The Prime Minister chairs the NRSC.

Speaking with journalists following the meeting, the Portfolio Minister said the passage of the Road Traffic Act will be a critical focus of the Ministry.

The Bill covers areas such as the establishment of the Island Traffic Authority and its functions, the road code, classification of vehicles, revocation of certificate of fitness, application, grant and refusal of learner’s permit or driver’s licence, and offences relating to the licensing of a driver.

“We are looking to make sure it gets passed as soon as possible,” he said.

Mr. Henry said the Ministry will also continue to work with all relevant Agencies and Ministries to proactively reduce road accidents.

Vice Chairman of the NRSC, Dr. Lucien Jones, welcomed the pledge from the Prime Minister to give critical focus to road safety. He also renewed his appeal for motorists to exercise caution on the nation’s roads.

Dr. Jones said the upsurge in fatalities from motorcycle accidents is cause for concern.  He noted that the Road Traffic Act will be a critical tool in tackling this issue, as it will require that motorcyclists be licensed, trained and regulated.

Westmoreland recorded the highest number of deaths from motorcycle accidents, followed by St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Elizabeth.

There have been 1,127 road fatalities in Jamaica since 2013.