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Police to get tough on Westmoreland bikers

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter

Thursday, January 09, 2014    

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ROSE HALL, St James — Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of Area One, Warren Clarke, has warned that the police will, this year, get tough on motor cyclists in Westmoreland who breach the Road Traffic Act.

"We are seeing a high non- compliance rate in Westmoreland with regards to motor cycles and we will be turning our attention to them, certainly this year. The cycles in Westmoreland are unlicensed, the riders are without driver's license, and we intend to enforce the Road Traffic Act stringently this year," ACP Clarke warned. "We hear for example, that it is a way of life for them. But we want to appeal with the citizens of Westmoreland to comply with the law because it is their non-compliance which is causing lives to be lost."

Last year 20 motor cyclists lost their lives in Westmoreland in the numerous fatal crashes, which resulted in 25 deaths.

In 2013, also, 55 motor cyclists were among the 305 persons killed in traffic accidents on the island's roads- an increase of 17 per cent over the previous year.

Meanwhile, the number of road fatalities recorded in the Police Area One, which encompasses the parishes of Trelawny, St James, Hanover and Westmoreland, stood at 97 last year, an increase of 31 per cent over 2012.

ACP Clarke, who was speaking on Tuesday at a press conference hosted by the Area One Police at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Rose Hall, deplored the rise in road fatalities in the four parishes under his command last year.

"There were too many fatal accidents in Area One (in 2013)," said the ACP. "The causes were assessed as speeding, failing to keep left improper road use by pedestrians and turning right without due care.

He stressed that the "reduction of these occurrences in particular, and improving road safety in general, have been added as a priority this year."

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