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JIS News

With 123 road facilities since the start of the year, Executive Director of the National Road Safety Council, Paula Fletcher, has appealed to motorists to cut their speed and obey the rules of the road.
The number is one less than the same period last year, when 124 persons lost their lives as a result of road accidents.
Speaking with JIS News, Mrs. Fletcher noted that speeding was one of the main causes for road crashes. She said that driving under the influence of alcohol, overtaking carelessly and driving with faulty tyres were major causes of crashes.
“Over the past weekend, more than 10 persons lost their lives as a result of crashes.so I am again appealing to motorists; do not speed, do not overtake carelessly, and look out for pedestrians especially children and the elderly,” she cautioned.
Mrs. Fletcher pointed out that while the Council has made recommendations to the government, as it relates to amending the Road Traffic Act, it is important that motorists display a greater sense of responsibility as they use the roads. “People need to take more responsibility for their personal safety and for the safety of others, as a lot of times it’s the decisions that we make as road users that tend to bring us harm. Over the years, human behaviour has been the main cause of road crashes compared to faulty road structures, which accounts for only four per cent of such crashes,” she stated.
She cited the negative social and economic impact of crashes, which include high hospital costs and sometimes death. “A lot of families suffer and are sometimes pushed below the poverty line as it is the bread winner that is lost, and what we are seeing is that a lot of persons that we are losing on the roads are males, who are in the productive years of their lives,” she pointed out.
As part of efforts to heighten public awareness about road safety, the National Road Safety Council, in collaboration with a number of other organizations, will host a Road Safety Expo at Emancipation Park tomorrow, (May 3) starting at 10:00 a.m. The Expo, which is being held under the theme: ‘Road Safety is No Accident,’ forms part of the Global Road Safety Week activities, which got underway on April 23. Some 14 booth holders will showcase their wares and these include the National Road Safety Council, the Toll Authority, Road Safety Unit, Ministry of Health, National Works Agency, Red Stripe, Drug Abuse Secretariat, Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA), Good Year Tyres, Jamaica Constabulary Force and Jamaica Red Cross. The public is invited to the exposition, which will run all day until 10:00 p.m.
In addition to the national thrust, Mrs. Fletcher said that the JAA through its international body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), is lobbying for more focus to be placed on road safety, at the global level.
As such, the FIA will be petitioning the Group of Eight (G-8) countries to ensure that 10 per cent of funding allocated to developing countries goes toward putting in road safety structures. The signatures of United Nations members will be sought on the petition, which was signed by Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, at the launch of Global Road Safety Week on April 18. Mrs. Fletcher has urged patrons to sign the petition when they visit the exposition.