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GBR | Jun 23, 2022

Government partners with FIA Foundation to tackle motorcycle deaths in Jamaica

/ Our Today

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Floyd Green, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), makes his presentation at the FIA Foundation’s 20th-anniversary forum on Safe & Healthy Mobility in London on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. (Photo contributed)

With motorcycle deaths representing the largest fatality group on Jamaican roads, a partnership between the Government, National Road Safety Council (NRSC) and the UK-based FIA Foundation is set to tackle the issue through a helmet safety project.

Floyd Green, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), participated at the FIA Foundation’s 20th-anniversary forum on Safe & Healthy Mobility, from June 21-22 in London, United Kingdom.

“We cannot sit idly by as road safety issues skyrocket and negatively impact our healthcare system, our infrastructure, our economy, all our government resources and most importantly, our families,” stated Green in his presentation on day one of the forum on June 21.

The minister welcomed the partnership with the NRSC and the FIA Foundation and stated that “road safety and sustainable mobility remains an urgent world crisis”.

“In my own island home of Jamaica, an island of three million people, we lost 484 lives last year on our roads.  Thankfully, the FIA Foundation has shown us through advocacy and action that we can tackle this issue head-on. What it requires is political will, an all-hands-on deck approach, sustainable financing and of course, ownership of the process,” added Green,

The project will last for three years at the cost of £750,000, aiming to understand and address the barriers to effective helmet wearing across Jamaica.

(From right to left) Floyd Green, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Jamaica; Oksana Romanukha, Ukraine’s road safety specialist; Amani Abou-Zeid, commissioner of energy and infrastructure at the African Union Commission; Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, chair of the FIA Foundation; Mohammed Ben Sulayem FIA Foundation president; and Will Norman, London’s walking & cycling commissioner, all stand for a group photo after respective presentations at the FIA Foundation’s Safe & Healthy Mobility Forum in London on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. (Photo contributed)
Floyd Green, minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), makes his presentation at the FIA Foundation’s 20th-anniversary forum on Safe & Healthy Mobility in London on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. (Photo contributed)

In his sectoral presentation in Parliament on May 24, Green stated that Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who chairs the NRSC, has tasked him to work with the council and Transport Minister Audley Shaw to strengthen the road safety culture on the island.

Under the “I Am A Safe Biker” motorcycle outreach and training programme, the council has trained over 420 bikers and has distributed over 720 helmets.

In his presentation in the UK on the importance of road safety and sustainable mobility to the Government of Jamaica on Tuesday, Green further explained that the crash situation on Jamaican roads is a huge cost to the hospital sector.

He indicated that it is a public health issue which lessens resources that could be redirected to other sectors, like education.

“The culture must change, and this is why the National Road Safety Council has embarked on a training and education campaign. This, along with the helmet project, will no doubt, reduce the number of injuries and deaths on our road,” he said.

On day two of the forum, Green participated in a working meeting for international partners and their government counterparts around establishing a local national helmet coalition, and looking at standards around helmets in their respective countries.

The participants included representatives from Jamaica, Vietnam, Rwanda, Mexico, Kenya, US, Switzerland, and the UK.

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