News

80 killed in road crashes this year

Saturday, April 05, 2014    

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THE National Road Safety Council (NRSC) says it will be stepping up its efforts to help reduce road fatalities and crashes, in light of a spike which has seen 80 deaths up to April 3.

Thirty-five of the road deaths occurred in March, a 30 per cent increase over February, according to a release yesterday from

the NRSC.

The St Catherine North Police Division accounted for most fatalities with 10 deaths, followed by Westmoreland which accounted for eight. Manchester, St Andrew South and St Ann each accounted for five fatalities, while Clarendon recorded seven fatalities and St Andrew Central six.

The 20 to 24 age group has accounted for the most deaths this year, followed by the 40 to 44 age group. In 2013, the age group 25 to 29 accounted for most of the road crash fatalities, the NRSC said.

Speeding was cited as the main cause of 22 of the 80 deaths this year, followed by 'pedestrian error' which accounted for 14 cases. Drivers who failed to keep left accounted for 11, while drivers who followed too closely; inattention of drivers; drivers overtaking improperly and swerving, each accounted for three fatal crashes. Twenty-six of the dead were pedestrians.

"We are intensifying our efforts along with our various partner agencies to ensure road fatalities are kept under 240 this year. Already there are discussions taking place and measures to step up the public education campaign for pedestrians are already in train," Dr Lucien Jones, vice-chairman and convener of the NRSC said at a meeting of the council Thursday.

Measures to be taken by the NRSC to help reduce crashes are:

* Cancellation of licences of drivers with multiple outstanding traffic tickets;

* Provision of additional resources for the Police Traffic Department; and

* The repainting of pedestrian crossings and repairing of lights and signage across the island by the National Works Agency.

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