Road fatalities down 33%
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The police are reporting a 33 per cent decrease in the number of road fatalities since the start of the year.
Statistics out of the Traffic and Highway Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) indicate that up to Sunday, there have been 62 road fatalities compared with 92 for the corresponding period last year.
In an interview with JIS News, Commanding Officer of the division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, said the decrease in fatalities is a good sign.
“This is very encouraging, and while the police will not take all of the credit, I believe that a number of pedestrians and motorists across the island are digesting the whole idea of using our roads better,” he said.
Allen pointed out that there were approximately 20 less collisions in comparison with the similar period last year. He commended road users for their efforts to reduce traffic accidents.
“We want to see this trend continue to improve, and we know that our enforcement is crucial in this, so whilst we are saying kudos in terms of better driving behaviour, we are going to continue our enforcement activities,” he said.
This was endorsed by Executive Director of the National Road Safety Council, Paula Fletcher, who said that the police have undertaken a zero-tolerance programme, which has resulted in a re-engagement of joint operations with the Island Traffic Authority (ITA).
“They are on the roads doing checks to see if vehicles are defective. The ITA can immediately remove the licence plate, if they don’t have up-to-date fitness certificates, or if they are found to be defective,” she said.
According to the executive director, the police presence on the roads usually has a calming effect on traffic in terms of speeding and other breaches of the Road Traffic Act. She said that persons will think twice before breaking the law when the police are out in their numbers.
“I really think the enforcement effort is working,” she said, adding that she looks forward to the passing of the Road Traffic Bill, which has many more road-safety elements than the existing Road Traffic Act.