Opposition spokesperson on Transport Mikael Phillips says urgent action is needed to address the issue of stray animals on the newly opened May Pen to Williamsfield leg of the Southern Coastal Improvement Project, which poses a high risk to motorists.
In a statement released today, Phillips said he has received several complaints about the issue and personally witnessed the dangerous situation.
“We have a tendency to act only after a disaster has occurred and the hazard posed by the numerous stray animals will undoubtedly lead to accidents if corrective action is not taken by the authorities,” said the Opposition spokesperson.
He shared that the presence of animals on the highway is due to the incomplete fencing to keep the animals away from the high-speed area. If the issue is not resolved, he said it would be irresponsible of the Government to keep the newly opened highway operational, because there is a risk of damage and death.
According to Phillips, there have been several fatal incidents involving stray animals on highways this year, one of which involved a young police officer who died as a result.
He is urging Prime Minister Andrew Holness to order China Harbour to complete fencing along the highway.
The opposition spokesperson is also reminding the Clarendon and Manchester municipal corporations that they have a duty to seize animals that stray onto the highways.
While making his address at the opening of the Williamsfield leg of the highway last week, Minister of Transport Daryl Vaz said he is aware of the issue, and the Government is working to have it addressed.