JIS News

The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, through the National Road Safety Unit, is looking at putting in proper road infrastructure to ensure the safety of disabled persons.

The measure is in keeping with the ministry’s commitment to provide safe and reliable services for all road users. The Papine area of St. Andrew, which houses a number of institutions that serve the disabled community, will be targeted for improvement.

“We are looking to ensure that the traffic environment is safe for persons. So one of the things we are looking at, is to put in the necessary infrastructure to ensure that the disabled community in Papine is able to have a disabled-friendly environment,” said Director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry, Kenute Hare.

Mr. Hare was speaking during a recent interview on the Jamaica Information Service’s (JIS) Issues and Answers programme.

Meanwhile, he noted that efforts are being made to have the new Road Traffic Act in place this year.

The amended Act will ensure that road safety issues are addressed according to 21st century requirements. It will, among other things, deal with the use of mobile phones while driving, and also cover the use of in-car devices such as DVD players.

Once the new Act is passed, driving schools and instructors will be required to be certified by the Island Traffic Authority and adhere to an approved curriculum, which will address issues such as defensive driving.

The country recorded a total of 258 road fatalities for 2012, some 49 less than the previous year, and for the first time in over a decade, achieved its ‘Below 300’ target.