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With the recent opening of the May Pen to Williamsfield leg of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project, Jamaicans are being urged to ensure responsible use on the thoroughfare and others across the island.
Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, Hon. Daryl Vaz, speaking during the opening ceremony of the project recently, reminded that there is a “responsibility that comes with these kinds of advancements”.
“While we build out the infrastructure, we know that it encourages people to obviously drive faster but we need to be mindful that that is not the objective; it is more connectivity,” Mr. Vaz said.
“The statistics remind us of the gravity of the issue. Every year an unacceptable number of lives are impacted by crashes on our roads – main roads, parochial roads and highways. Families are torn apart, dreams are shattered, and futures are forever altered because of these crashes,” the Minister pointed out.
As of September 12, there have been 284 road fatalities resulting from 264 collisions.
The Minister noted that compared to last year, this is a16 per cent decrease and he is hopeful that by the end of the year, fewer than 400 fatalities will be recorded, coming from 488 last year.
With the busy Christmas season approaching, the Minister said, “Again, I make an appeal that we take it easy and be mindful of our safety.
“Let us be vigilant not only for our own sakes but other travellers and set an example for the generation after us, teaching them the importance of responsible road use. Together, we can turn this highway into a model of road safety [and] excellence, setting a standard for the nation and other regions,” the Minister said.