JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Executive Director of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), Paula Fletcher, is imploring motorists to desist from using cellular telephones while driving, as this is a major cause of road crashes.
  • Mrs. Fletcher, who was delivering the keynote address at the launch of the 9th staging of Grennell’s Road Safety 5k race, at the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Maxfield Avenue, in St. Andrew, on November 1, described the practice as a “compromised standard.”
  • “We shouldn’t die because of a call or taking a message…that’s a high price to pay for communication. The law says hand free use (is permitted), but the better standard for life, living and wellness, is no cell phone use while driving,” she emphasised.

Executive Director of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), Paula Fletcher, is imploring motorists to desist from using cellular telephones while driving, as this is a major cause of road crashes.

Mrs. Fletcher, who was delivering the keynote address at the launch of the 9th staging of Grennell’s Road Safety 5k race, at the Ministry of Transport and Mining, Maxfield Avenue, in St. Andrew, on November 1, described the practice as a “compromised standard.”

“We shouldn’t die because of a call or taking a message…that’s a high price to pay for communication. The law says hand free use (is permitted), but the better standard for life, living and wellness, is no cell phone use while driving,” she emphasised.

Mrs. Fletcher  said that persons argue that if a driver engages with a passenger while the motor vehicle is in motion, that too can be a distraction, but she said that does not amount to the same level of disturbance as when an electronic device is being used.

She argued that with 349 persons losing their lives on the road so far, up from 300 for the same period in 2018, and related expenses costing the public health system some $2 billion, “we are paying (dearly) as a nation for crashes.”

Mrs. Fletcher pointed out that road safety is a “sustainable development” issue that has the attention of officials at the highest level of the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

She lauded the 5k event as very important, and said the message should go out that “road safety is important.”

The 2019 Grennell’s Road Safety 5k race will be held in Kingston on Saturday (November 16), in memory of Jason Alliman, who lost his life as a result of a motor vehicle collision over three years ago.

“This 5k is telling people that we need to see a stop to what is happening on our roads. This is to remember people and to encourage people to give support to family members who are going through tough times,” said Chairman of the event, Alphonso Grennell.