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JM | Jan 24, 2023

Shaw urges stakeholders to work together to reduce road fatalities

/ Our Today

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Minister of Transport and Mining Audley Shaw addresses the opening of Grennell’s Driving School Crash Free Defensive Driving Workshop, held Monday (January 23), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. (Photo: JIS)

Minister of Transport and Mining Audley Shaw is calling for stakeholders to work together to make commuting on the roadways a safe undertaking for all, where lives will be saved.

The minister was speaking at the opening of Grennell’s Driving School Crash Free Defensive Driving Workshop, held on Monday (January 23), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

Delivering the keynote address, Shaw said the responsibility is on all road users to “ensure that we are alert, patient and responsible whenever we use the roads”.

Minister of Transport and Mining Audley Shaw (left) operates a safe driver simulator car at Grennell’s Driving School Crash Free Defensive Driving Workshop, held Monday (January 23), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. Others pictured are Director of Grennell’s Driving School, Alphanso Grennell (centre) and Director at Virtual Reality Jamaica, Ryan Moore. (Photo: JIS)

“This isn’t just a government thing; it’s a Jamaican thing that requires the support of private and public sectors, individuals and corporations, motorists and pedestrians, man, woman and child. As a government, we are committed to reducing fatal crashes on the nation’s roads and enabling a safe and reliable transportation system for all,” the minister said.  

Lauding Grennell’s Driving School for its dedication to “making a difference on the nation’s roads”, the minister argued that the defensive driving initiative is a “relentless” effort to promote road safety through education and goodwill and is appreciated by the ministry.

In addition, Shaw said the ministry was ready to welcome the Road Traffic Act, 2018, which takes effect February 1, noting that it is not “intended to target or prosecute but to bring this country into a new era where road behaviour is so improved that infractions, road crashes and fatalities are a thing of the past”.

The minister pointed out that Jamaica ended last year with an “astonishing 488 road fatalities”, with the Road Safety Unit reporting that these included pedestrians, pedal cyclists, motorcyclists and pillions, 58 per cent; passengers 23 per cent, and private motor-vehicle drivers 17 per cent.

“We must all work together to ensure that this year does not follow the same path. Already, the Unit has reported 11 fatalities since the start of 2023. That is 11 deaths that could have been prevented if we all obey the road code and use the roads responsibly,” Shaw said.

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