JIS News

Senior Superintendent of Police in charge of the Traffic Division, Elan Powell, is hoping for a 10 per cent decrease in road fatalities this year, following a seven per cent decrease last year over 2006.
“This year we hope to see at least a 10 per cent reduction in fatalities on our roads. It is small but we will take it,” he told JIS News in an interview.
To achieve this, Mr. Powell said that strategies would be based on enforcement, education and engineering.
Meanwhile, the Traffic Chief noted that the Division achieved some success last year. “There was a small reduction in the number of deaths on our roads as it was reduced last year to 245 from 271 in 2006,” Mr. Powell said.
He is appealing to all road users to be cautious. “It is incumbent on all users of the road to be very cautious in the way we use it. We have to remember that we are not the only users. There are other users,” he said.
“I want to appeal to all of us to be considerate. Look out for your fellow men and for yourselves, because too often we are too careless in the way we use the roads and we use it in that way, to our detriment and to the detriment of many others, so my appeal to all of us is to be very careful on the roads,” Mr. Powell added.
He pointed out that the number of traffic officers deployed on the streets increases daily. “Everyday we seek to improve the number of traffic officers and as a matter of fact, we are on a programme right now to charge every policeman to see himself or herself as a traffic officer,” he said.
According to Mr. Powell, there are some noted trouble spots islandwide, including Mandela Highway, Landovery main road in St. Ann, Point main road in Hanover, Rose Hall main road in St. James, Lacovia main road in St. Elizabeth, Winston Jones Highway and the Melrose Bypass in Manchester and the Osbourne Store main road and Bustamante Highway in Clarendon.
“Those are the spots that are giving us the most problems right now,” he said.
He noted that the Division is collaborating with the National Works Agency to ensure that proper road signs are put up and road construction is done.
“As far as our enforcement drive was concerned, we really stepped up our presence on most of our public thoroughfares and in Kingston there was a marked increase in our presence, which made it more comfortable for a lot of motorists, but then for those who were breaking the law or prone to breaking the law, they felt the brunt of our thrust,” he explained.
“We wrote about 15 per cent more tickets last year than the year before, so as far as enforcement was concerned we had a good year,” he emphasized.
Mr. Powell said that last year, some 310,000 tickets were written, an increase over the 288,000 tickets the year before. “We did what we had set out to do and one of the things that helped was our increased presence,” he said.

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