Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crash with UWI Students brings road fatalities to 241!

Message from Dr Lucien Jones, Convenor and Vice-Chairman, National Road
Safety Council:

Shanice Simmonds
All lives lost on our roads matter to us in the NRSC. And that's why we work
so hard and try and galvanize the entire nation to take this matter of road
safety seriously. However, when two young people - Shanice Simmonds and O'Shane Reid who were University
students with so much potential to make an impact on our society, if not the
world, perish along with the other 239 who have died on our roads so far
this year, it's time, in fact past time as we are ' two late', for us really
begin to use our roads much more carefully.

O'Shane Reid
In that respect then, top of the list of things to do is to reduce ' loss of
control' due to excessive speeding and careless or distracted driving as
noted in data coming from the Mona Geoinformatic Centre at the UWI. And
which data on road fatalities and crashes is updated daily and available
on its website. The main problems responsible for distracted driving in
other jurisdictions include, the use of cell phones while driving in
general, and texting and driving in particular, and driving under the
influence of alcohol.

Whilst there is some insight into the reasons for distracted driving in
Jamaica, further research is needed to identify the specific causes. The
problem of road safety in Jamaica is further compounded by the high levels
of motor bike riders and pedestrians who are dying on our roads. The NRSC is
therefore actively developing partnerships in Jamaica which will, in the
near future, facilitate the kind of research needed to help to combat the
spiralling number of road traffic fatalities.

In the interim we look forward to the introduction of some kind of
Electronic Surveillance System about which we have been lobbying for some
time now, the passage of the new Road Traffic Act which thank God is
imminent, the fine tuning of the Ticketing System, the provision of
additional bikes and cars for the police, and other measures which will
assist the traffic police in enforcing the road traffic act, while
continuing to engage in Public Education.

To all the loved ones of the 241 victims who have died on our roads for this year, we offer
our sincere condolences, and pray for comfort in particular at this time for
the Students of the UWI who are mourning the tragic loss of two of their

Finally it worthy of note, that we are not alone in this struggle to reduce
fatalities. As a 2nd Global High-Level Road Safety conference, organized by
the UN in partnership with other agencies, will be held in Brazil on
November 18-19. And the goal of this ongoing worldwide collaborative effort
is to reduce the predicted significant increase in roads deaths by one
half. It is expected that Jamaica will be representated by a high level
delegation. Hopefully additional resources to fight this modern day scourge
will attend our participation and efforts in this major International

Dr. Lucien W. Jones

1 comment:

  1. This is an ongoing problem in Jamaica. Suriname uses "drempels" to control the speed of drivers on most of its road, and this is very effective and does not require constant police attention. "Sleeping-police" bumps that have been modified and adjusted in heights and distance separating them are used in country roads and residential areas to enforce compliance with required speed limits. They are very cost effective and life-saving. We should look into this.