Wednesday 24 April, 2019

Big fall in road fatality so far, but motorcycle mania continues

File photo

File photo

The Road Safety Unit (RSU) in the Ministry of Transport is reporting a 35 per cent reduction in road fatalities in the first two and a half weeks of 2019 when compared to the similar period in 2018.

But while this is welcome news, the RSU is concerned that six (47 per cent) of the 13 road fatalities recorded up to January 17 were motorcyclists. This essentially means that motorcyclists have started the year in much the same way they ended it last year, at the top of the ‘most endangered road users’ list.

Some 98 motorcyclists perished in motor vehicle crashes in 2018, the most for any group of road users. That group was followed by pedestrians, 81 of whom died on the nation’s streets last year.

Meanwhile, 34 children who are also considered among the more vulnerable groups of road users, died on the nation’s roads in 2018.

According to statistics from the RSU, there were 383 road fatalities in 2018, making it the bloodiest year on the roads in 15 years. There were 391 road deaths in 2003 and 382 in 2015.

And the western parish of Westmoreland had the highest number of road deaths in 2018, with 49, while the eastern parish of St Thomas was the safest for road users, recording only two road deaths in 2018.

A significant number of those who perished in Westmoreland last year were motorcyclists.

Of the 13 road deaths recorded so far this year, the garden parish of St Ann has three, while Westmoreland and Clarendon have each recorded two fatalities.

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