Motorcycle workshop in Hanover on Sunday

By Rory Daley
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, September 13, 2019

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WITH the hopes of stemming the tide of fatalities in the island's western end, motorcycle safety team Back to Basics (BTB) will be conducting a free workshop at the Youth Innovation Centre in Lucea, Hanover, on Sunday.

The start time is scheduled for 9:00 am.

“We have a brand new Jamaica Gasoline Retailers Association (JGRA)-backed component, which is designed to encourage motorcyclists in Hanover to sign-up and participate. We want motorcyclists to get trained. Get safer. And we will reward the best participants for investing in their own safety. The first 20 motorcyclists who register for our Hanover workshops and come on time, 9:00 am sharp, and participate in the entire day, will be rewarded with absolutely free gas courtesy of JGRA,” Back to Basics's conceptualiser Tarik Kiddoe told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

Kiddoe said the workshop has space for 30 persons and those interested can sign up via the BTB website or find more details on their social media channels.

“Those who don't win gas may have opportunities to earn other prizes,” he said.

Kiddoe said the workshop is critical, given the number of motorcycle fatalities from Jamaica's western end.

In 2011-2012 there were about 35 fatalities in Jamaica. Since 2015, there have been more than 400 motorcyclist killed, with the majority of these incidents taking place in western Jamaica.

In May, a total 173 road death were recorded; 55 were motorcycle-related.

Kenute Hare, director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, points to behavioural issuses as the root cause.

“More than 400 motorcyclists have been killed in Jamaica between 2015 and so far in 2019, and when we look at it further, the majority is in western Jamaica — from Trelawny to St Elizabeth. That is where we have most of the motorcyclists and that is where we have most of the fatalities, and when we analyse what is happening, we see behavioural issues playing out,” he told the Observer, in a previous interview.

“Since they do not know how to operate safely... they end up causing fatalities and serious injuries.”

Hare is of the view that training and development of motorcyclists are ways to enhancing road safety in Jamaica. And Kiddoe agrees.

According to the BTB conceptualiser, the programme will concentrate on the six steps to safer motorcycle operation: proper safety gear; turning correctly; how to brake; be visible to other road users; avoid bad habits of fellow riders; and, understanding the rider's own personal limits.

Kiddoe, an architecture graduate and a private pilot with Jamaican and US certificates, is confident that their model works.

“On the private commercial training side of our business, we have seen up to 75 per cent reduction in injuries among motorcyclists we've trained,” he said.

In addition to the JGRA, Sunday's workshop is sponsored by Insurance Association of Jamaica and Sandals Resorts International.

Sunday's class is the first of three dates for the workshop planned in Hanover. The last BTB's workshop in Jamaica's western belt was held two years ago.

Started in 2015, the BTB offers high-quality motorcycle safety training services.

And, according to Kiddoe: “It's a business on a mission to save lives. We help the country to avert the cost of injuries and deaths by improving motorcyclists' real time decision-making skills.

“The primary offerings include corporate fleet training, where we are contracted by companies to reduce injury-related downtime among their motorcycling employees.”


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