JIS News

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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has reiterated his call for motorists to exercise greater care in the use of the roads, to reduce unnecessary accidents that claim the lives of the nation’s children.
  • “I want to make an appeal for sanity and good judgement to be exercised on our roads. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your children, do it for my children, and do it for our children,” he emphasised.
  • The Prime Minister was speaking at the launch of Workers’ Week and Labour Day 2019 activities at the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday (May 7). The activities will focus on the safety of children.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has reiterated his call for motorists to exercise greater care in the use of the roads, to reduce unnecessary accidents that claim the lives of the nation’s children.

“I want to make an appeal for sanity and good judgement to be exercised on our roads. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your children, do it for my children, and do it for our children,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the launch of Workers’ Week and Labour Day 2019 activities at the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday (May 7). The activities will focus on the safety of children.

He lamented that over 120 of the nation’s children have died on the roads in the past five years and another significant number suffer life-changing injuries as a result of more than 70,000 traffic accidents, including accidents within 100 metres of school zones, over the past decade.

“This is unacceptable for a country that consistently says how we love our children,” he stressed, while denouncing the indiscipline on the nation’s roads, and “the unnecessary, aggressive and offensive bahaviour of some of our drivers”.

He added that the fatalities resulting from motorbikes are “very disturbing”, noting that many of those who are dying are young adults.

The Prime Minister admitted that while there are difficulties with the traffic management system, and sometimes difficulties with the design and construction of roads, which also contribute to road fatalities, oftentimes, it is “driver error, driver judgement and driver indiscipline” that are the main causes of the crashes.

He said these issues cannot be addressed only by the traffic department or the new Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB), but require a change in the mindset of motorists.

Citing recent figures from the police, which show that more than 400,000 tickets have been issued to traffic offenders, the Prime Minister questioned whether this was even a deterrent to some motorists.

“So, it is not totally a problem of enforcement. The issue now is whether or not the enforcement brings consequences through the legal justice system and whether or not drivers themselves take the issuance of a ticket seriously enough to modify their behaviour on the road,” he said.

In the meantime, Mr. Holness pointed out that the National Road Safety Council and the JCF have been adamant in reducing the number of road accidents and the resulting fatalities through targeted public education.

Labour Day 2019 will be observed on Thursday, May 23, under the theme ‘Child Safety… it’s you, it’s me, it’s all ah we’.

It is the culmination of Workers’ Week activities, which begin on Sunday, May 19. The Week is being observed under the theme ‘Yes to decent work; No to child labour’.