Transport, Works and Housing Minister, Hon. Dr. Omar Davies, says Jamaica should have a modernised Road Traffic Act and Regulations by the end of 2013.
Speaking at a recent road safety seminar hosted by the Jamaica National General Insurance (JNGI) company at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Dr. Davies said the legislation will ensure that road safety issues are addressed according to 21st Century requirements.
He informed that the new Act and regulations will, among other things, deal with the issue of driving while using mobile phones, including texting while driving.
This provision is particularly important, he said, as studies have shown that a motorist only has nine per cent control of the vehicle when he/she is texting and driving. He said that fatal crashes have occurred in Jamaica, as a result of drivers using their mobile phones while operating their vehicles.
Turning to the government’s drive to keep the number of road fatalities under 300 per year, he noted that significant headway has been made through the “Save 300” campaign spearheaded by the National Road Safety Council.
“The fact is that through the untiring efforts of the council, significant progress has been made and in 2011 we just missed out on dipping below the figure of 300. Although we cannot become complacent, the data for the first four months of this year look very promising that we should be able to achieve the target in 2012,” he assured.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter