Friday, December 28, 2018

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FOR a sixth-straight year, the fatalities soar pass the 300 boundary set by the Ministry of Transport's Road Safety Unit (RSU). As of yesterday, the figure stood at 373.

Kenute Hare, director of the RSU, says the agency's target of keeping the toll under 300 is realistic but hampered by irresponsible behaviour on island's roadways.

“It's tough, but while the task is arduous, we are going to meet it,” he told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine in a recent interview.

While Hare may be optimistic, his agency, using 2001 as the base year, had projected that 372 would have been killed in traffic crashes this year. Next year's projection is 325.

“It's arduous, but not impossible. What we [at the RSU] try to do is not make the figure reaches the projected data figures,” he said. “We do this with our education campaigns. In the Corporate Area, for example, there has been an improvement in the wearing of helmets and seat belts, but it's not the same in the rural areas. Next year, we will be going door-to-door and speaking with people.”

Last year the fatality figure was 302, while in 2016 it was 358.

The last time the toll was under 300 was in 2012 when it stood at 256.

— Brian Bonitto

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