Jamaica recorded less road fatalities last year when compared to 2010, despite missing the targeted figure of below 300.
Education and Information Officer in the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Julian Thompson, said the official figures for 2011 have not yet been disclosed by the police, but based on preliminary data, the number of road deaths fell below the 319 deaths recorded in 2010.
"We ended at about 304 fatalities for the year. We are coming from a high of 350 fatalities a few years ago; now we are very close to achieving that target (of below 300). We are trending in the right direction and we just hope that for this year we will achieve that target," he said.
Mr. Thompson said the country has started the year on a negative path, as “we have had over 10 road fatalities so far in only four days and that is a cause for concern."
He is reminding Jamaicans to use the nation's roadways responsibly and join the Transport Ministry in its effort to achieve the target of below 300 road fatalities.
The Road Safety Unit has been working to keep road fatalities under the 300 mark through its ‘Below 300 campaign’.
The mission of the Road Safety Unit is to promote and foster an orderly and disciplined traffic culture that is conducive to the development of a safe traffic environment, through the conceptualisation, design and dissemination of a sustained programme of public information, education in schools, legislation, accident information and research.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter