Transport Ministry Moves to Enhance Road Safety


With road fatalities for the year hovering close to the 300 mark, Transport and Works Minister, Michael Henry, has said that the Ministry is moving to implement measures aimed at enhancing safety on the island’s thoroughfares.
Some of these measures include installing signs and proper road markings, and improving driving instruction and training.
Speaking at the launch of the Jamaica Automobile Association’s (JAA) ‘Make Cars Green’ initiative at the JAA’s Swallowfield offices in Kingston on Wednesday (Dec. 10), Mr. Henry lamented the number of fatalities on Jamaica’s roads, noting that they are taking a toll on the nation’s resources.
“The accidents ratio. is a great drain on the health service. It is a great impact on the lives of everyone. it is something that we can prevent. (By) being careful, planning carefully, looking at how driver’s licences are issued, looking at the value of life, that (is how) we (can) begin to address (the challenge),” he stated.
He informed that the necessary equipment will be sourced to place the requisite markings on the roads, which will serve to better guide all users. He said new reflectors will be installed along the toll roads, while the signs along the thoroughfares will also be improved.
“You will now see that there are signs on the bridges of the toll roads. These signs (however) are not large enough, by my feeling, so we will add to that. Additionally, we want the signs to have a specific meaning. The blue signs give you the direction, the brown signs should give you heritage sites, and the green signs should give you locations. I am hoping that we can implement (a) programme of driving by symbols… because in international countries, where people don’t speak the same language, you drive by symbols,” Mr. Henry outlined.
In the meantime, the Minister appealed for motorists and other users of the roads, to exercise caution during the Christmas season.
“I am making this appeal…for us to drive carefully…(and) cautiously. Speeding is a major (cause of) accidents. You are responsible for the car once you get behind the wheel. Therefore, by extension, you are responsible for (the) lives (of the persons) you are driving,” Mr. Henry implored.
A project of the International Automobile Federation’s (FIA), the ‘Make Cars Green’ initiative aims to reduce the impact of cars of the environment, by encouraging ecologically sound motoring. In keeping with the initiative, motorists are encouraged to adopt a number of energy saving measures including purchasing energy saving vehicles, checking tyre pressures frequently, reducing load, saving on air conditioning, and keeping speed constant.
The JAA hopes that the introduction of the project locally will help to raise the level of environmental awareness, and enhance road safety in Jamaica.

JIS Social