Auto

Under-300 under threat; Road fatalities now stand at 290

BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto and Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 13, 2013    

Print this page Email A Friend!


FROM all indications, it appears the death toll on the nation's roadways will surpass the 300 figure.

Kenute Hare, director of the Road Safety Unit (RSU) in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, said his office is "very concerned" about this situation.

"Our ability to get below 300 is not where we want it to be," he told Auto yesterday.

"The toll currently stands at 290 and we are profoundly concerned."

The director said based on projections, the figure could rise to as high as 307. However, he used the opportunity to appeal to road users.

"Breadwinners are being killed... fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, and in many instances, this could have been avoided. We're appealing to everyone, please be cognisant of how you use the roads," he said.

Hare said the Ministry of Health has spent close to $2 billion to treat road accident victims.

"If these crashes were avoided, the money could have been spent in other areas. Therefore, I'm urging all road users to be extremely careful, especially during the Christmas season. We want everyone to play their part. Seatbelts and helmets must be worn at all times," he urged.

The director said pedestrians must obey traffic signals and wear light-coloured clothing at night.

Hare said the RSU would be beefing up its campaign in Westmoreland next year.

"Thirty per cent of motorcyclists killed on the roads came from Westmoreland ... and 90 per cent were not wearing helmets... All men," he said.

Motorcycles are commonly used as a means of public transport in the parishes of Westmoreland and Hanover. As many as three persons are often transported on motorcycles, which are used as public-passenger vehicles.

"We will be going door-to-door in the communities and appealing to families to ensure that once a motorcycle is in the house, they must also ensure the rider has the proper headgear," he said.

The RSU, under Hare's directorship, has embarked on several road-safety programmes islandwide. The most prominent of them is the Below-300 campaign, which is geared at lowering the island's traffic fatalities to fewer than 300.

This was achieved last year when 256 persons lost their lives on the roadways.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

If you found $10 million in the street would you return it to the owner?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT