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Westmoreland motorcyclists get road safety training

Friday, August 22, 2014    

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MORE than 50 motorcyclists in and around Little London, Westmoreland, recently benefited from a road safety sensitisation session, organised by Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple Negril amidst concerns about rising road accidents and fatalities in the area.

The intervention was done in collaboration with the Area One Police Division and Savanna-la-Mar Fire Brigade with support from several bike companies.

In addressing the group at the August 15 session, the Savanna-la-Mar police cited Westmoreland as one of the parishes at the top of Jamaica's road accident and fatalities table, with Little London and the neighbouring community of Sheffield accounting for seven motorcycle-related deaths since the start of 2014. This is compared to five during the same period last year.

"Even if it was one fatality it would not be marginal, it would be one too many," stated Inspector Amos Thompson.

"We will continue to do our best to not only monitor how you conduct yourselves on the road, but the condition of your motorbikes and the things you put in place for protection. We are not doing it to pressure you, but because we love you and want to ensure that you and your families stay alive," he added.

Corporal Hopeton Cole, road safety coordinator for the Area One Police, echoed his colleague's sentiments and reinforced several safety and defensive driving tips, which he encouraged everyone present to put into practice.

One female motorcycle operator stated, "we have a lot of bike taxis here, and many people also use bikes to go about their business, so I am very happy for this session."

"Many times we rush to try to help people who are in an accident and only end up hurting them because we do not know that how a person is moved can affect them more, for example. I really must say thanks on behalf of the people of Little London for this information that can really help us," she added.

A number of the motorcyclists on location also received helmets, rain suits, shock rubbers, gloves, hand grips, and other safety gear from Banmark, Prento Bike Rental, Gas Bike Rental, Happy World Negril and Wassy Bikes.

"Motorcyclists are prevalent in many western communities and sometimes they are involved in a number of accidents, therefore Sandals has undertaken this public education campaign in an effort to contribute to a reduction in the number of these mishaps," stated Sandals Resorts (Negril) Regional Public Relations Manager, Kendra Johnson. "We want to help road users to commit to safe road practices and also show them how to make instant lifesaving decisions if an accident does happen."

The event was the third in the resorts' series of motorcycle safety awareness initiatives. Motorcyclists in Orange Bay, Hanover and Negril, Westmoreland also benefited from similar sessions held last year.

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