Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, says the Government is working to put a modern crash data system in place by 2016.
The state-of-the-art system, he said, will enable the seamless transmission of information to all road safety stakeholders, “thus ensuring that critical decisions can be taken efficiently and effectively”.
“It is our intention to ensure that we develop the capacity and capability to monitor and evaluate our various road safety measures, thus ensuring that we are better able to evaluate our road safety performances,” Dr. Guy stated.
He was speaking on Wednesday, June 5, at the launch of National Road Safety Awareness Month, at the Total Gas Station in New Kingston.
Dr. Guy informed that assistance is being provided by the International Traffic Accident Database/Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the United Kingdom (UK) Department for Transport and the Transport Research Laboratory under a twinning programme.
Turning to the target of the National Road Safety Council to achieve ‘Below 240’ road fatalities this year, Dr. Guy said this is feasible, but will require that all stakeholders continue to work as a team and at the same pace.
Jamaica, last year, recorded a total of 260 road fatalities, down from 308 in 2011. This represented the country’s lowest number of road casualties in almost 20 years and a successful ‘Below 300’ campaign.
Dr. Guy said that the Government is doing its part, by putting in place a number of measures, among them, the modernisation of the 1938 Road Traffic Act, to adequately address the challenges in the transportation sector and to ensure that road safety issues are addressed according to 21st century requirements.
The revision is in its final stages and the Act is expected to be passed during this Parliamentary year. It will address the use of mobile phones when driving and the implementation of a three-stage drivers’ licensing system, which is aimed at improving the competency of Jamaican drivers.
Dr. Guy said that over the next three years, the Ministry will focus its efforts on a number of initiatives. These include the safety of vulnerable road users; strengthening the country’s capability to investigate and analyse traffic collisions; ensuring the entrenchment of Road Safety Audit Management in all road projects from preliminary phase to completion; and ensuring that all road safety processes are in accordance with the Road Traffic Safety Management Standard – ISO 39001.
National Road Safety Awareness Month 2013 is an observation of the Jamaica Gasoline Retailers Association (JGRA) under the theme: ‘Alert today – Alive tomorrow…Distraction Kills!’
Contact: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker