The Ministry of Transport and Mining is reporting a moderate decline in road fatalities since the start of the year.
Speaking at the Western Jamaica Launch of the Road Code Test in Secondary Schools at Little London High in Westmoreland on Friday (March 24), Portfolio Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw said some 94 persons died in road traffic crashes from 83 collisions up to March 23, this year.
This is in comparison to 106 people being killed from 94 crashes over the corresponding period last year.
This represents an 11 percent reduction in road traffic deaths and a 12 percent decline in fatal crashes over last year.
Minister Shaw said the parish of Westmoreland recorded a dramatic dip in road fatalities with nine people being killed to date, compared to 15 for the corresponding period in 2022. This represents a 40 percent decline.
Motorcyclists represent 50 percent of those fatalities in this parish.
“In 2022, Westmoreland recorded the fourth highest number of fatalities in the island with 49 lives lost. Of the 49 fatalities in the parish, motorcyclist accounted for 24, followed by private motor vehicle drivers which accounted for seven fatalities,” Mr. Shaw said.
The Minister noted that young people between the ages of 15 and 29 years accounted for the highest number of the overall fatalities in the parish.
“The community of Little London is considered one of the crash hotspots in the parish, due to the number of fatalities that have been recorded over the years. The number of vehicular collision and road fatalities involving our young people is far too high,” Minister Shaw said.
He added that the launch of the driver education programme in schools across the island, represents another step in equipping young people with the knowledge and skills to better use the roadway.
“The driver education programme in schools, which facilitates the administration of the Road Code Test, is a critical step in helping to curtail the level of indiscipline on our roads and poor driver education,” Mr. Shaw said.