NRSC launches 'Below 240' campaign
THE National Road Safety Council (NRSC) last Thursday launched its 'Below 240' lives campaign aimed at keeping road fatalities below 240 for each of the next three years.
It is a follow-up to the 'Below 300' campaign launched by the council in 2008, but which was not achieved until last year when the country recorded 260 road deaths.
Under the theme 'Jamaica Can Do It', Chairman of the NRSC Dr Lucien Jones said that the new target was set after much deliberation. Outlining the various actions taken over the years to reduce road fatalities, he said the present situation required "something new and different".
However, he said the target cannot be achieved without the support of the police and other responsible authorities.
"Achieving a target of below 240 will require that the police be given additional resources; that the new RTA (Road Traffic Act) be passed as quickly as possible; that the new ticketing system be so managed to function as efficiently as possible; that the Island Traffic Authority be transformed in short order to a much more modern facility; and that the NRSC continues to be the recipient of the kind of funding which has made a huge difference in our ability to successfully engage in public education," he told guests at the launch at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
He lamented the negative impact of road fatalities.
"The reduction of deaths and injuries on our roads affects not only families, by the attendant grief and pain and loss of income by the breadwinner, but also the development of a nation by reducing the call on the budget of the health sector, by reducing the pay-out to the insurance sector, and by preserving the lives of potential workers whose efforts can make a huge difference in the quality of life of a people," he added, noting that accomplishing the new target is dependent on the support of Parliament.
Established in 1993, the NRSC is chaired by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and includes representatives from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, other public sector bodies, the private sector, Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association, Jamaica Automobile Association and the Secretariat of the National Council on Drug Abuse.