Vice Chairman, National Road Safety Council (NRSC), Dr. Lucien Jones, says the new traffic ticketing system has been achieving significant success since its implementation.
"We have a new ticketing system and already over 700,000 tickets have been issued within the last 18 months, worth $1.6 billion, and of that, $682 million has been collected and if we look at what is presently in the courts, 70 per cent is already accounted for,” he said.
The new system allows the Police to use a hand-held device to track motorists who have outstanding tickets.
Speaking at the NRSC press briefing and launch of the national road safety poster competition, at Jamaica House, on April 5, the Vice Chairman said road safety is a matter of grave importance, and as such, the Council, in its continued drive to reduce road fatalities, will be intensifying its public education thrust.
He said talks are underway regarding the Spirits Licence Act, “to protect our children from being ushered into the use of alcohol too early, and we are going to be working with the various ministries to start a new emergency response system."
Dr. Jones noted that discussions are also underway regarding an electronic surveillance system. “We can’t have a policeman on every corner of the road, so we have to begin to use the technology,” he added.
He called on Jamaicans to refrain from drinking alcohol and driving, and to desist from exceeding the speed limit.
“All of us have to use the road and all of us have been touched by relatives and friends who have died this does not have to happen, so we are here standing in the gap to ensure that we continue to reduce death and fatalities on the road,” he said.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Health Fund, Hugh Lawson, said educating the public to use the road safely, is essential.
He said the Fund will continue to support the work of the NRSC, adding that, “we approved in our last budget, $14.5 million to support the NRSC."
In his remarks, Marketing Director, Digicel, Conor Looney, said a collaborative approach is needed to address road fatalities, which affect the entire country.
On behalf of the organisation, he donated $2.3 million to assist in the NRSC’s national campaign of curtailing the number of fatalities on the road.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jones said the poster competition will assist in teaching children safety measures while using the road, as safety should start from the earliest age possible.
For the competition, entrants should create a poster which is 17 inches by 22 inches in size and which reflects the theme: ‘Our Road Safety-OUR RESPONSIBILITY’.
Entry forms are available at the National Road Safety Council, 145 Maxfield Avenue, Kingston 10 or downloaded from www.nationalroadsafetycouncil.org.jm or www.nrscjamaica.blogspot.com
The competition, which begins on Monday, April 16, is open to young persons in two age categories: six to 12; and 13 to 19 years.
All posters must be original designs, and individual work which have not been published previously and should include one of the following or a combination of the following areas of expression: drawing, painting, or mixed media.
Entries must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 14, 2012. They may be mailed to the NRSC offices or dropped in the collection boxes provided at the Ministry of Education, 2 Heroes Circle, Kingston 4; Ministry of Education, Region V Office, South Race Course Road, Mandeville; Ministry of Education, Region IV Office, Alice Eldemire Drive, Montego Bay.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter