THE annual Grennell 5K Run, Walk and Roll returns for its 10th staging on Saturday, November 19 in St Andrew.
"It will start at 6:30 am from my driving school in Mona Heights on Mona Road," Alphonso Grennell, managing director of Grennell's Driving School, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.
The 5K was launched in November of 2012 as part of a series of initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of safety on Jamaican roads. It is also part of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes.
"The road safety 5K event has been committed to bringing attention to remembering and assisting those persons affected by road trauma — individuals who have been injured, or lost loved ones in preventable traffic crashes," he explained.
Part of that contribution is raising funds for the cause. This year, under the patronage of Christopher Samuda, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association, the event is being held in memory of crash victim Jason Allman who died in 2015, and the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre is the chosen beneficiary.
"We acknowledge the lasting emotional pain of Jason's friends and family by running, walking, or rolling in his honour. In 2021, 484 persons lost their lives as a result of crashes on Jamaican roads," Grennell explained.
The data comes from the Road Safety Unit (RSU) in the Ministry of Transport & Mining, marking the year as the deadliest over the past decade. In contrast, 2021 was a good year for Grennell's Driving School as both the school and its managing director received international awards from the National Safety Council (NSC) for Defensive Driver Training.
"I am humbled and elated at the same time. Since receiving the NSC Instructor award for 2021, I was invited to be a member of the prestigious 40-member International Advisory Committee for defensive driving programmes. This award also shows that we can impact changes at different levels and consistently offer high standard of service with integrity. These awards have proven that even though we are a local company we can have an international influence."
The school received the 2021 DDC (Defensive Driving Course) Training Centre of the Year Award, while Grennell received an award for excellence in the delivery of the of the NSC DDC left side of the road programme.
"The company and I are up for the 2022 NSC awards."