Transport Authority gets nine more vehicles to monitor roads
THE Transport Authority (TA) has been provided with nine new vehicles to enable personnel to carry out their tasks more effectively.
Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing Dr Morais Guy, who yesterday handed over the units at the authority's offices in Kingston, said that the vehicles will enable personnel to cover more areas and help "to reduce the wanton carnage taking place on the nation's roads.
"As at Sunday, December 1, 279 persons lost their lives as a result of 247 crashes. This is totally unacceptable. That is why the ministry and our stakeholders were involved in an islandwide series of road shows recently, aimed at taking the road safety message to our populace," Dr Guy said.
"It made some difference, but this is a fight in which we don't have the luxury of sitting back this year, following on the success of keeping road fatalities below 300 last year. We were hoping to go below 240, but that projection is no longer possible, but we are still enlisting the assistance of every person in Jamaica, to keep road fatalities down," he said.
The minister said, too, that at this time of the year, "we have to be even more vigilant, as accidents and associated fatalities historically spike during this period".
At the same time, Dr Guy said that acquisition of the vehicles should enhance the capacity of the authority to carry out its function of regulating the public transport system. "The TA personnel will be more equipped to keep operators along the straight and narrow, while facilitating safer roads for all users. With this being the focus, it is clear that the $33.5 million, which has been expended on these vehicles, is money well spent," he said.
Dr Guy, meanwhile, urged drivers and conductors to wear their badges. "This is mandatory under the Road Traffic Act. We are calling on all our stakeholders -- the taxi man, the minibus driver, the various owners, the 'loader man', the police and commuters -- to partner with us in achieving an orderly and secure system," he stated.