Click here to print page

Hare concerned about motorists

Friday, March 20, 2020

Despite fewer motorists and pedestrians traversing Jamaica's roadways due to the Government's temporary ban on public gatherings, director of the Road Safety Unit Kenute Hare said he is even more concerned about an increase in road fatalities.

“I don't trust the motorists, even while there has been a decline in the number of vehicles on the road; my fear is even greater now because many drivers see the 'free' road as an opportunity to drive more carelessly,” he told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

“There is a crisis going on [the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)], and the same way we are doing everything to prevent ourselves from catching it, is the same way we should ensure that we do what we need to do on the road to remain safe. Avoid everything that starts with 'C': corona, collision, and crash,” he continued.

Since the beginning of March, 16 people have died in motor vehicle accidents, bringing the total since January to 98. Of that figure, 89 were males.

Last year, 435 people were killed on the island's roadways.

On Monday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that, effective Wednesday, all taxi operators were required to carry one fewer passenger, while Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and Montego Bay Metro buses are required to only transport seated passengers. Meanwhile, non-essential workers were asked to work from home for the next two weeks.

Jamaica has 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with one fatality. Dead is a 79-year-old male who succumbed at the Mandeville Regional Hospital on Wednesday.

Hare is reminding motorists to adhere to the road code.

“Remember to wear seatbelts and don't wait until it's too late to slow down. Adhere to the stop lights and don't think, just because there isn't a line of traffic or only few vehicles are on the road, that you can break the stop lights and carry on,” he said.

— Kediesha Perry