Acting in the interest of road safety

Acting in the interest of road safety

Friday, December 13, 2019

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Dear Editor,

This year, just like last year, and the year before that, the nation is being informed that we are on course to set a new record as it relates to traffic fatalities. It is highly likely that come next year it will be the same story. Motorcyclists, we are told, contribute significantly to these numbers.

Everyone knows that upwards of 85 per cent of the motorcycles on our roads are not legal, and it is an open secret that motorcycles facilitate many a crime the country over. Firearm conveyance and purse snatching come readily to mind.

Now, armed with this information, one should have expected that a police force serious about reducing the carnage on our roads and pre-empting crime would be out there stopping and checking every single motorcycle on our roads, even if the rider happened to be Andrew Holness.

On a daily basis the law regarding the wearing of helmets is honoured more in its breach than its observance. Our lawmakers should post-haste make it so that this infraction carries a fine of $10,000, or at least a week in jail.

The law should also be amended so that if the documents for any motorcycle checked cannot be produced on the spot, a maximum of 30 days be allowed for the driver to so do, after the expiration of which ownership of said motorcycle is forfeited.

It stands to reason that implementing these measures would result in an instant reduction in the incidence of motorcycles on our roads. This would translate into fewer fatalities and a reduction in crime facilitated by motorcycles.

There is no need for any announcement to warn people about the operation. Simply get on with it and pick the low-hanging fruit, for heaven's sake.

On second thought, it probably would have been a better idea to ask the United States ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia to articulate the points mentioned here.

Maybe then the security minister and his underlings would be jolted into action knowing they, and by extension their visas, are under scrutiny.

Coretta Burgess

corettaburgess@yahoo. com

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