JIS News

The Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Works is reporting an increase in the number of passengers killed in traffic accidents since the start of the year.
According to the Unit, the number of passengers killed in traffic accidents between January and October 25 has increased by nine per cent when compared to the same period last year, with 89 deaths, 65 of whom were private motor vehicle passengers. For the same period last year, 82 passengers died as a result of road crashes, with 42 of those fatalities being private motor vehicle passengers.
The statistics show that a total 274 persons died from road accidents during the period with 76 being pedestrians and 53 having been drivers of private motor vehicles.
Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Accident Analyst at the Road Safety Unit, Kenute Hare said: “Speeding, improper overtaking and failure to keep to your side of the road are some of the primary reasons why we are having these passenger deaths.”
He said that drivers are responsible for the safety of passengers, however, in many cases, drivers are not ensuring that their passengers are wearing seat belts. “In many cases, the drivers are not insisting that the passengers are belted. Rear seat and front seat passengers must be belted. Quite a lot of these passengers [killed] were in the rear of the motorcars,” he pointed out.
Explaining the importance for rear seat passengers to be belted, Mr. Hare explained that: “If a crash occurs [and] there is no restraining system being utilized by the passengers, all that will occur is that they will be thrown all around the vehicle and cause serious harm and injuries to those at the front of the vehicle, because the force of the accident will propel them forward.”
Mr. Hare noted that some passengers seem to enjoy fast, reckless driving, and added that: “The whole matter of taking care of one’s safety as it relates to the passenger is something we will have to address urgently.” He is appealing to drivers to be cognizant of the fact that they are transporting persons and as such they must do so safely.
“You are transporting persons to different locations and you are required to carry them where they are going safely. When you were learning, you abided by the road code to get your licence, so we would expect you to be courteous on the road and look out for other road users,” he said.
He is encouraging passengers to protect themselves by not travelling in vehicles where the drivers insist on disobeying the Road Traffic Act and the other laws that govern the use of the roads.

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