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  • Prime Minister, the Hon. Portia Simpson Miller is urging all road users to heed to road safety warnings and to be careful at all times in light of the growing number of road deaths in Jamaica over the past two years.
  • Last year 330 persons died from road crashes.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller, who is also Chair of the National Road Safety Council, made the call during her keynote address at the launch of the 3rd UN Global Road Safety Week 2015 at the ATL Showroom in Kingston.

Prime Minister, the Hon. Portia Simpson Miller is urging all road users to heed to road safety warnings and to be careful at all times in light of the growing number of road deaths in Jamaica over the past two years. Last year 330 persons died from road crashes. Mrs. Simpson Miller, who is also Chair of the National Road Safety Council, made the call during her keynote address at the launch of the 3rd UN Global Road Safety Week 2015 at the ATL Showroom in Kingston.

She said that “Road safety is a very serious matter that requires careful management for success. It requires more than new laws, or budgetary support.” In addition to these factors, the Prime Minister noted that “success in road safety requires all road users – pedestrians, motorists, motor cyclists and everyone – to heed warnings and to be careful at all times.”

Under the theme “Save Kids Lives”, the UN Global Road Safety Week will run from May 4 to 10. The campaign is designed to raise awareness on the plight of children on the world’s roads and engender action to better ensure their safety. Commenting on the theme, the Prime Minister noted that “This is a most appropriate call to action at a time when our children’s lives are threatened on and off the roads.” Continuing she said that “No child should feel threatened as they travel daily to school, church or to participate in social activities.  We have to protect our children. It is our duty.”

The Prime Minister also emphasized that Jamaica’s road-safety programme must be seen as part of a national plan to grow our economy and build our nation. She explained that “With every loved-one we lose, we also lose a part of our country’s economic viability. The economic cost of motor vehicle crashes is estimated to be between one and two per cent of Jamaica’s Gross National Product.” Road crashes are therefore counterproductive to Jamaica’s development as they wipe out national growth potential, the Prime Minister said.

The “Save Kids Lives” campaign is the worldwide campaign for the 3rd UN Global Road Safety Week. The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing has partnered with the Sandals Group and the ATL Group (through its VW brand) to implement a local “Save Kids Lives” campaign. Other measures being implemented to reduce road crashes include changes to the Road Traffic Act and improvements in technology, to include the use of electronic surveillance systems to curb speeding and the running of red lights.