Thursday 9 April, 2020

66 fatalities in 49 days, says RSU as road carnage continues

A Toyota Mark X motorcar after a collision on Barnett Street in Montego Bay, St James last month.

A Toyota Mark X motorcar after a collision on Barnett Street in Montego Bay, St James last month.

The runaway trend of road traffic fatalities has continued unabated into 2020 with 66 persons being killed in the first 49 days of the year.

This is according to the latest statistics released on Tuesday by the Road Safety Unit (RSU) which is located in the Ministry of Transport.

There are the same familiar trends that have characterised the country’s road traffic environment over recent years.

With 20 fatalities among them, motorcyclists are again the most vulnerable road users, accounting for 30 per cent of those killed so far.

Twelve of those who have perished since the start of the year are pedestrians, seven were pedal cyclists, three were pillion riders, eight were passengers of private motor vehicles, 10 were drivers of private motor vehicles, five were commercial motor car passengers and one was the driver of a commercial motor vehicle.

So far, St Catherine accounts for 20 per cent of the road users killed, the largest figure for any parish since the start of the year.

Combined, the group categorised as ‘vulnerable road users’, which is made up of pedestrians, motorcyclists, pedal cyclists and pillion riders, accounts for 64 per cent of all road fatalities to date.

Meanwhile, the RSU is reporting that fatal crashes and fatalities have increased by five per cent each since January 1. On the bright side, the Unit is projecting that fatalities for 2020 will decrease by 19 per cent when compared with 2019 figures.

Head of the RSU, Kenute Hare, said the majority of road crashes are caused by bad driving habits. He is again urging all road users to exercise caution in the road traffic environment.

The RSU reported that some 438 people perished on Jamaica’s roads in 2019, a near 30-year high.

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