Maybe our legislators need to be jolted by the data. So here goes. Between January and October this year, 230 people have so far died in traffic crashes in Jamaica. That's an increase of 32 over the same period last year.
Road fatalities over the first quarter of the year totalled 64, compared to 61 last year, while for the second quarter 76 deaths were reported, compared to 64 for the same period in 2012.
For the third quarter — July to September — we had 86 road deaths, against 65 for the same period last year.
If these figures, released by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), are not enough to startle anyone, especially our legislators, we don't know what will.
The NRSC provided this data at a recent Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange against the background of an increase in road crashes, a majority of which resulted from, surprise, surprise, careless driving.
But what was even more surprising was the NRSC's revelation that a flaw in the Road Traffic Act is preventing the authorities from revoking the licences of reckless drivers.
It gets worse. For the NRSC's Executive Director Mrs Paula Fletcher is lamenting the fact that amendments to the Act have been languishing in the Parliament for the past nine years!
We wonder, therefore, what is needed for our lawmakers to acknowledge the urgency of passing this new Road Traffic Act.
Are we to assume that the men and women who sit in Gordon House are comfortable with the fact that irresponsible individuals are operating motor vehicles on our streets, placing our lives at great risk?
We would have thought that our law makers would have been seized with the need to fast-track the Act after the recent revelations that the horrible road deaths of schoolchildren involved bus drivers with multiple traffic tickets.
The unfortunate reality is that our public transportation system is plagued by a 'wild west' mentality, which is given some amount of legitimacy by politicians simply because the sector represents a huge bloc of votes.
Perhaps they are waiting until someone near and dear to them, such as a member of their family, meets an untimely demise at the hands of one of these awful road hogs.
Political representatives will, from time to time, make some noise about the indiscipline in the sector, and they will even condemn the reckless behaviour of the drivers. But when it comes time to act against the sector, the legislators waffle. What else could explain this nine-year incubation of the new Road Traffic Act?
The Government, we are told, has promised to enact the law by the end of this fiscal year. Let's see.
Until then, the wild west culture will continue, and the bodies, unfortunately, will pile up, leaving families to grieve and increasing the strain on our already burdened public health system.