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JIS News

Road crashes involving utility poles are proving costly to the Jamaica Public Service (JPS), with the company spending some $15 million last year alone to replace poles and transformers.
“To replace a pole, it costs approximately $85,000. If that pole has a transformer the cost is even greater as it costs in excess of $200,000 to repair and replace the damage,” said JPS Customer Service Manager for St. Catherine, Sonia Jones.
Miss Jones, who spoke to JIS News at yesterday’s (Feb. 7) ‘Drive for Life’ public forum held in Old Harbour, said that when a vehicle crashes into a utility pole, the impact disrupts the flow of electricity causing un-planned outages. She informed that in 2007, there were in excess of 170 such interruptions islandwide.
Noting that the disruption in electricity supply could last up to four hours at a time, she said: “Can you imagine what four hours being without electricity is like especially as a business person or even in the household? That is why we got involved in the ‘Drive for Life’ campaign and we totally endorse the programme.”
The JPS was one of the stakeholder partners in the just concluded campaign, which was undertaken by the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Works to encourage proper driving techniques in order to reduce road crashes.
During the sessions, which were held in six locations across the island, it was revealed that blatant breaches of the Road Traffic Act and simple road rules are responsible for more than 80 per cent of road fatalities.