Irresponsible use of motor vehicle lights have become a hazard
Flashing lights on police cars and extra-bright lights on other vehicles are creating unsafe conditions for motorists.

Dear Editor,

Proper road maintenance seems to be an elusive feat in Jamaica. With the exception of the toll roads, it is a testing travail trying to cope with most of the other thoroughfares.

The quagmire of dilapidated roads do not only batter motor vehicles, but the undulating bumpy surfaces and numerous potholes are among the hazards that motorists have to contend with.

It is customary for motorists to give way to emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars when their siren is heard and flashing strobe lights seen. But so often police vehicles driving in normal traffic will have these lights flashing. Driving close to one of these units can be quite disconcerting, especially at nights.

On narrow roads with traffic flowing in both directions, and no opportunity to overtake, one hand is occasionally used as a shield or intermittent sideway glances made to ease the torture on the eyes. But the eyes were not closed so the intensity was not lessened. In my view, this practice, whether legal or not, needs to be discontinued because it is a hazard to motorists.

So many of Jamaica's roads are poorly lit, which, when combined with the aforementioned narrow roads and appalling surfaces, can make driving unpleasant. Conditions become even more horrible when some motorists don't dim their lights. The bombardment of high beams from oncoming vehicles plus the reflection in rear- and side-view mirrors from vehicles behind can be truly bothersome.

The misery worsens with additional lights being installed on some vehicles. These sources of light are very bright and remain that way even when the main headlamps are dimmed. If they were legitimately installed, the authorities should reverse their decision in the shortest possible time. Otherwise, implement regulations to govern such modifications. And if they were installed illegally, the intervention of the appropriate officials are needed post-haste. The annual number of road crashes and fatalities in Jamaica is already too high.

Let each motorist, and definitely the Government, play his or her role in helping to eliminate or minimise road hazards, which, hopefully, will redound to the benefit of people and the country by not contributing to the destructive and lethal mishaps.

Peter Gordon

Mandeville, Manchester

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?