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Police pledge to reduce fatal crashes in western Ja this holiday

BY MARK CUMMINGS cummingsm@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 20, 2013    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Assistant Commissioner of Police ACP) in charge of Area One, Warren Clarke, says the police will be out in their numbers to ensure that motorists exercise caution and observe road traffic rules as they go about their businesses during this celebratory season.

"We have been trying to deploy personnel to carry out speed checks on thoroughfares that are known to have fatal collisions and certainly for this Yuletide season we intend to increase our presence on a 24-hour basis," said ACP Clarke, pointing out that many fatal accidents happen at night.

"So we really intend to be more visible during this period and we are hoping that we will be able to contain the number of fatalities that are already too high for this year."

According to figures released by the Police Traffic Department, up to the end of last week there were 73 fatal crashes, resulting in 91 deaths in the Police Area One

Division, which covers the parishes of Trelawny, St James, Hanover and Westmoreland. During the corresponding period last year 73 persons lost their lives in 63 fatal collisions.

So far this year, the parish of Westmoreland has accounted for 38, the highest number of fatalities in the western region -- a more than 50 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2012.

ACP Clarke told the Jamaica Observer West that the police have been "trying to educate the public to reduce their speed, drive responsibly and if you have to drink when you go out you should appoint a designated driver".

"The education programme is through community meetings where we get an opportunity to meet the public," he said.

Crash-prone roadways or 'crash hot spots' in the western region include: the Braco main road and Martha Brae in Trelawny; Rose Hall/ Lilliput main road in St James, and the Bustamante Highway in Westmoreland.

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