JIS News

Executive Director of the National Road Safety Council, Paula Fletcher, is pleading with motorists to reduce their speed, in light of the increase in traffic accidents.
As of November 22, some 281 traffic crashes resulting in 327 deaths have occurred in Jamaica. This is an increase over the similar period last year, which recorded some 245 crashes, resulting in 278 deaths.
Globally, some 3,000 persons are killed daily in traffic accident, while 30,000 are injured, making road accident the leading cause of violent deaths and injuries worldwide.
“When we look at the statistics as to the causes of accidents, most of them point to human behaviour and it is not even human error, as human error would indicate that there was a sign that you did not see, or that the road engineering was is often some conscious decisions that people make, for instance persons break red lights and traffic signs, overtake carelessly and speed,” she pointed out.
“We are asking motorists to consider the role that they have to play in not just their safety, but the safety of others, and reduce their speed,” the Executive Director said.
Mrs. Fletcher told JIS News that the increase in the number of road crashes and fatalities was “alarming” and was an indication that “we are losing ground” as it relates to the progress that has been made in the last three years, which had seen a reduction in the number of collisions, compared to trends in previous years.
Noting the impact of traffic crashes, she said that accidents affect more people than we are aware of, as a significant number of persons have fallen victim to crashes and have had to live with permanent disabilities.
“When we talk about fatalities, that’s just one part of the whole picture, because we have those who got injured.many are actually suffering from injuries, some so debilitating that it will be for it’s really a bigger problem than when we just zoom in on fatalities and we really have a serious issue to tackle,” she stressed.
Mrs. Fletcher pointed out that the National Road Safety Council would be boosting its public education campaign, and would soon be rolling out its Christmas programme with a view to encouraging motorists and pedestrians to take more precautions when using the roads.
In the meanwhile, she said that the Council would continue its work on the Amendment to the Road Traffic Act.
“These changes,” she pointed out, “will help to bring us into this modern time, because it is a very old Act and we are looking at the entire body of legislation to make it more current and more relevant”.
“We will be re-organizing the Island Traffic Authority and we will also be examining the current ticketing system, and the problems that we are experiencing with this system, we hope can be addressed in the near future,” she added.

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