Road crashes remain one of the most common causes of death among Jamaicans, however since the start of the year, the number of road fatalities and fatal collisions has been trending down compared to the previous year.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Floyd Green during his presentation in the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate presentation today (May 16) said that as of May 15, Jamaica recorded 142 collisions and 155 deaths on the nation’s roadways compared to 152 collisions and 171 deaths the previous year.
This represents a 10 per cent decline in collisions and a 17 per cent decline in deaths.
The Minister said that while this is positive news, the incidence of road fatalities is far too high.
“Madam speaker We have lost 45 Motor cyclists and 40 pedestrians in this number. The deaths represent over a hundred Jamaican familys that have suffered immeasurable pain and grief and in most cases have lost the bread winners,” The Minister said.
He stressed that road fatalies continue to place a burden on both the health care system and the government’s purse.
Green urged members of the government to work collectively to change the attitude and culture of reckless driving on the nation’s roadways.
The way forward
The Minister said that for the 2023/2024 fiscal year the government will be placing special focus on the implementation of the Road Traffic Act.
“The Road Traffic Act Madam speaker is not a tool for oppression, the Road Traffic Act is designed to promote safe driving practicies and Madam Speaker if adhered to the Road Traffic Act can significantly reduce our road fatality numbers. None the less, Madam Speaker the council is undertaking a review as directed by the Prime Minister of provisons of the Road Traffic Act and we have been taking comments from the public. We have already had our first meeting Madam Speaker and we are going to have second meeting in May at that time will start preparing recommendations for cabinet,”Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Floyd Green
Green also announced the expansion of the motorcycle training programme, which saw 517 motorcyclists being trained under the programme.
Safe Systems Approach
Minister Green also announced that the government will continue to champion the Safe Systems Aproach for safer roads project that was launched by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in 2021, to address important aspects of the road safety environment.
The three-year project will be funded by the UN Road Safety Fund at a cost of USD$ 400,000 and will see the development of a comprehensive electronic injury surveillance data system, the purchasing of new speed reporting equipmentsequipment, the purchasing of breathalyzer equipment and the training of police officers.
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