Saturday 18 January, 2020

Road traffic deaths hit 17-year high

File photo of one of the latest fatal motor vehicle crash scene across the island, on Chesterfield Drive on the outskirts of Seaview Gardens in St Andrew on Monday.

File photo of one of the latest fatal motor vehicle crash scene across the island, on Chesterfield Drive on the outskirts of Seaview Gardens in St Andrew on Monday.

More than 400 Jamaicans have perished from crashes on the nation’s roads since the start of the year, according to the latest statistics from the Road Safety Unit (RSU) in the Ministry of Transport and Mining.

The official death toll as a result of motor vehicle crashes since January 1 stands at 402. This is up from 394 about a week ago.

The number also marks the first time since 2002 that road deaths have gone past the 400 mark.

Among the latest fatalities are two young people – 20-year-old Javaun Emanuel of Allman Town, Central Kingston, and 23-year-old Janade Lloyd of Mocho, Clarendon. The two perished in a fiery crash on Chesterfield Drive on the outskirts of Seaview Gardens in St Andrew on Monday.

Of the 402 deaths, the category ‘vulnerable road users’, which includes motorcyclists, pedestrians, pedal cyclists and pillion riders, account for 63 per cent of the fatalities.

And with nearly three weeks still left in the year, the RSU is projecting that the overall fatalities for 2019 will increase by seven per cent compared with 2018.

Director of the RSU, Kenute Hare, is imploring motorists to slow down, especially during the busy yuletide season.

“We are appealing to drivers to cut their speed and look out for vulnerable road users. Never overtake at a bend or at a junction or unnecessarily; never drive in a manner that will prove offensive to other road users. In addition, always use seatbelts, ensure passengers in the vehicle utilise them as well, and that children are securely fastened in the correct protective devices,” Hare pleaded.

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