JIS News

Drivers of public passenger vehicles in Westmoreland are urged to attend the first workshop on defensive driving to be held on Thursday, January 10 at the Westley Methodist Church Hall, 81 Great George Street, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The workshop, which is part of the Road Safety Unit’s ‘Drive for Life’ campaign, is open to all drivers and will serve as a refresher course for some and an eye-opener for others as the principles of defensive driving is explained.
Speaking with JIS News, Public Relations Officer at the Unit, Janett Peters informed that at these workshops the Unit would be imparting important knowledge on how to use the roadways defensively. “We expect to see a change in driver attitude and behaviour on our roadways and thus a reduction in the number of fatal crashes,” she said.
Other workshops are scheduled for St. Ann, St. James, St. Catherine and Portland. The workshop in St. James will be held on January 17 at the Montego Bay Civic Centre, while in St. Ann, drivers will meet at the Eltham Community Centre in White River on January 24.
In Portland drivers will meet at the Old Marina, West Palm Avenue on January 31, while over in St. Catherine they will gather at the Lions Club at 25 East Street, Old Harbour on February 7.
These workshops are part of the Road Safety Unit’s drive to spread its message of defensive driving islandwide.
The Defensive Driving campaign is a behaviour change drive that seeks to instill knowledge, awareness and discipline in drivers, so as to foster and promote safety on the road.
Miss Peters said that the campaign was originally conceived to help stem the number of deaths that usually occur during the festive season.
Nevertheless, she said crashes take place throughout the year and no matter who is killed or injured, it is the person who is driving the car that is most often at fault.
“If we can reach the person who is driving and have them be more aware of their surroundings and take more precautions, then we are sure that we will have less crashes and definitely less fatalities,” she reasoned. “We don’t want to see 341 persons killed in 2008. We’ll have to continue this effort, so that we don’t have an increase or an equalling of the figure this year,” she added.

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