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Authorities clamping down on use of cellphones while driving

Thursday, June 05, 2014 | 3:48 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Government, through the tabling of a revised Road Traffic Bill in Parliament, has announced plans to clamp down on the use of cellular phones and other electronic hand-held devices by motorists while driving.

Making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives Wednesday (June 4) following the tabling of the Bill, Minister with responsibility for Housing, Dr Morais Guy, said that “several initiatives have been implemented with regard to treating with the number of road fatalities and crashes over the years”.

Other proposed road traffic changes in the Bill include the mandatory training and certification of driving instructors and a longer period for holding a learner’s permit. Also, contained in the Bill is the granting of increased powers to the Island Traffic Authority.

Earlier this month, Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies, said that when the legislation is passed, Jamaica will have a modernised Road Traffic Act and regulations predicated on ensuring that road safety issues are addressed according to 21stcentury requirements.

“We intend to launch pre-emptive strikes against those who are intent on creating imbalances in the traffic environment. This new Act and regulations will, among other things, deal with the issue of driving while using mobile phones, including ‘texting’ while driving,” Dr Davies said at the recently held International Road Federation (IRF) Caribbean Regional Congress in Montego Bay.

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