JAM | Sep 19, 2023

Stray animals pose safety risk on May Pen to Williamsfield toll highway – Phillips

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Mikael Phillip, opposition spokesman on transport.

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.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre), and his wife, Juliet Holness, are flanked by several ministers of government, representatives of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), agency representatives and other interests during the official opening of the May Pen to Williamsfield leg of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project. The highway was opened on Thursday, September 14, 2023. (Photo: JIS)

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.


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