'This is madness'
Head of road safety council concerned about traffic fatalitiesMonday, August 09, 2021
TOLL GATE, Clarendon — “Madness” is how National Road Safety Council (NRSC) Chairman Lucien Jones describes the close to 300 road fatalities so far this year.
“[August 6] was Independence Day but it was a sad day for many Jamaicans. Two hundred and ninety persons have died on our roads since the start of the year, seven persons died [on Independence Day] alone, including two teenagers on a bike in St Elizabeth and one that died in a crash in a car in Manchester. This is madness, and as a nation we need to be mobilised to deal with this ever-increasing problem,” said Jones.
After helping to pull the injured from one of these crashes in Toll Gate, Clarendon, one witness has appealed to road users to be careful on the roads. Three people were injured and one died from that crash.
“It's a holiday and a lot of people go out go take a swim and enjoy themselves and a come back in. So people fi take precautions and take time pan di road and tek time drive,” appealed Ramone Henry.
He said a Nissan Tiida clipped a Toyota Probox which caused it to spin and then slam into a parked truck. “I came out and some other people come and we take out three people from the car. But to get to the last one we had to tie the car to another truck and use it to pull it out and take out the other guy. He was taken to hospital where he died.”
The NRSC's Jones chided motorists for not being responsible enough to make their own safety a priority. He is banking on the effective use of the tools available to help save lives.
“If we can use the deterrent factors that are available to us, [such as] implementing the Road Traffic Act, using cameras to detect speeding and other infractions, together with the new ticketing system we can make a big difference,” said Jones. He also repeated previous calls for maximisation of the efficiency of the breathalyser system.
In July, when the number of road fatalities was at 247, Prime Minister Andrew Holness gave a directive that the long-awaited implementation of the new Road Traffic Act should be no later than December 2021.
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