Road safety warnings seemingly falling on deaf ears
Despite weekly pleas, reminders and warnings from the Road Safety Unit (RSU) for Jamaicans to slow down and observe the rules of the roadways, fatalities as a result of traffic crashes continue to rise.
Up to June 27, some 221 persons had been killed on the nation’s roads and, according to Director of the RSU, Kenute Hare, “the majority of our road crashes are related to bad driving practices”.
Hare is again appealing to road users to take road safety seriously. Of particular concern is that the most vulnerable road users – pedestrians, pedal cyclists, motorcyclists and pillion riders - make up the bulk of the statistics. Two of those pedestrians, 36-year-old Anthony Bowes of Black River, St Elizabeth, and 54-year-old Dalton Phillips of St Thomas, were killed on Thursday.
Reports are that sometime after 5:00 p.m., both men were walking along Central Road in Black River, when the driver of a motorcar lost control of the vehicle, which hit the pedestrians. The vehicle then crashed into a wall.
The two injured men were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.
The driver of the vehicle, who was treated for minor injuries, has since been warned for prosecution.
Since the start of the year 55 pedestrians, 13 pedal cyclists, 70 motorcyclists and eight pillion riders have perished on the roads. The statistics also include six passengers of public passenger vehicles (PPV), 29 passengers of private motor vehicles, five commercial motor car passengers, two PPV drivers, 31 drivers of private motor vehicles, and two commercial motor car drivers.
Hare is also encouraging drivers/motorists who transport passengers, to ensure that they do so safely, by enforcing the wearing of seatbelts.
Pedestrians and pedal cyclists are also advised to wear bright-coloured clothing at nights, and to use reflective gear to ensure that they can be seen at all times.
Pedal cyclists should also wear clothing that will make them more visible to other road users, especially at nights.
So far, St Catherine has accounted for 16 per cent of all road users killed, the largest figure for any parish since the start of the year.