The National Road Safety Council (NRSC) today announced that it has established a new road safety target for 2013 to 2016 — 240. in light of the significant reduction in road fatalities which the island experienced last year, the new objective is to encourage the reduction in road deaths and embrace the new slogan "BELOW 240, Jamaica can do it!"
In 2008, the NRSC launched the SAVE 300LIVES Programme, encouraging the public through increased road safety public education to improve road user practices, and consequently minimise road deaths, to below 300.
At the end of 2012 Jamaica recorded 260 road fatalities, meeting the target for the first time in 13 years, and the first time since the launch of the four-year old SAVE 300LIVES Campaign.
Dr. Lucien Jones, vice-chairman and convenor of NRSC, credits the impact of the public education campaign and the diligence of the police in enforcement of traffic regulations, as playing a key role in the success of the Programme. "We also want to commend Jamaicans for pulling out all the stops to ensure a decline in road fatalities last year," explained Dr Jones. "However, the NRSC and its partner organisations believe the time has come for us to challenge ourselves as a nation to do even better on the roads. Thus we have taken the decision to revise the road safety target to below 240 deaths per year."
Since the start of the year, 26 persons have died on the nation's roads, representing a seven per cent decline in road fatalities over the corresponding period last year.
The NRSC is reminding the public that the loss of life and injury of each citizen results in tremendous pain and grief, a burden on the hospital sector and it creates a ripple effect in terms of loss of production in Jamaica. Paula Fletcher, executive director of the NRSC, adds, "Each time a road crash occurs Jamaica is the loser in terms of lost human resources and our ability as a nation to progress and achieve the aim of the national Vision 2030 development plan."
Paula Fletcher (centre), executive director of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) presents a calendar to Tori Ebanks of Campion College, during a recent hand-over exercise at the Ministry of Transport, where the NRSC calendars were presented to organisations in the education and transport sectors, as well as to winners in the 2012 NRSC Poster Competition. Tori was second in the Under-12 category. Witnessing the presentation are (from left): Dr Lucien Jones (right), vice-Chairman and convenor of NRSC; Sister JoAnn Reid, principal of Stella Maris Preparatory School, (the school Tori was attending when she entered the Competition); and Marion Ebanks, Tori's mother. The NRSC is this year celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The creative works of winners in the NRSC Poster Competition are highlighted on the calendar. The NRSC 20th Anniversary Calendars also provide road safety tips for pedestrians, motorists and commuters.