DEATHS inch up
A total of 10 people were killed over the Independence weekend, according to figures supplied by the Road Safety Unity (RSU) in the Ministry of Transport and Mining.
“These are needless deaths. These people didn't die because of bad roads; they died because of recklessness. Seven were due to excessive speed while three were due to improper overtaking,” Kenute Hare, RSU director, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine. “This is the bloodiest weekend ever.”
Three deaths occured in the parishes of Westmoreland and Clarendon each, and one in Manchester, St Andrew, St Catherine, and St Mary. Nearly half of the fatalities occured on Saturday, August 4.
“Nine of these people were not wearing any protective devices... four were motorcycle-related and three were in private motor cars,” he said. “All of these deaths have negative implications for the families they leave behind. We're sorry for their loss, but I do hope they will join the road safety train and help us in our efforts in trying the reduce the road fatalities.
Last year, for the period Aug 1 to 7, the RSU recorded three fatalities.
So far, 208 people have died on the island's roadways, a decline of eight per cent over the similar period last year.
Hare said the believes the road-safety gospel is reaching its intended targets, but some people choose to ignore it.
“We (the RSU) will just have to continue our public education and public-awareness activities. We will have to revisit Westmoreland, in particular, as the motorcycle drivers and pillions totally disregard their saftey. We can do this by ourselves, but will continue to partner with the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Island Traffic Authority,” he said.
Formed in 1994, the RSU promotes and foster an orderly and disciplined traffic culture that is conducive to the development of a safe traffic environment through the conceptualisation, design and dissemination of a sustained programme of public information, education in schools, legislation, accident information, and research.