The Toll Authority of Jamaica is pushing for legislation to be enacted that will grant it the power to fine pedestrians who encroach on the toll roads and motorists who tailgate.
The Authority, an agency of the government, also wants legislative authority to regulate advertisement on toll roads, as well as make it mandatory for future concessionaires to pay toll monitoring fees to the agency.
Minister of Transport and Mining, Audley Shaw, advised of the direction in which the Authority would like to go, during his contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House this week.
Both pedestrians and tailgating motorists present a danger to themselves and other road users. Yet, pedestrians, some pushing carts, are often seen on Jamaica’s toll roads. Pedestrians are also frequently seen jumping the concrete medians that separate the traffic lanes, putting themselves and drivers at risk.
Tailgating occurs where one vehicle travels too closely behind another.
Meanwhile, Shaw said the Authority is further seeking empowerment to apply monetary sanctions on toll operators for non-compliance in the remedying of any defect/damage to the toll road infrastructure.
He also informed that the escape lanes on the North-South Highway are being renovated to bring them closer to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials standards.
In the meantime, the minister said the issue of responsible road use and safety remains a major concern for the country.
He noted that despite the challenges, there is renewed hope with the launch of the United Nations Second Decade of Action for Road Safety, and with Jamaica adapting the so-called Safe Systems Approach.
“Adoption of the Safe Systems will have a positive and wide-ranging effect on road safety policy and strategic outlook, as it requires shared systemic responsibility for ensuring safe roads, safe road users, safe speeds, safe vehicles and quality post-crash care. The UN Second Decade of Action aims to reduce road traffic fatalities by 50 per cent globally,” Shaw said.