Sunday 9 August, 2020

RSU head backs call for citizens to record and post traffic breaches

Kenute Hare

Kenute Hare

Director of the Road Safety Unit (RSU), Kenute Hare, is supporting the call from the police for persons in the traffic environment to videotape motorists who drive recklessly and endanger other road users.

However, Hare has stressed that this should be done safely and not by another driver at the wheels, unless with the use of a dashboard camera.

“We encourage persons to record these persons who are engaged in these grave violations of the Road Traffic Act. If it is possible to videotape and photograph, do it. Use your dash cam,” Hare told Loop News.

The road safety director further encouraged persons to post these recordings to their social media pages, and to send them to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

“We have to shame these people who are intent on driving recklessly and endangering the population.

“We need to shame them and hopefully the places where they work will see the people who they employ, how they drive on the roads, so too the people who lend them the vehicles will see what they are taking their vehicles and doing with them,” Hare declared.

On September 11, the driver of a Coaster bus, who was later identified as 47-year-old Elkanah Sparks of Golden Spring, St Andrew, was caught on camera illegally driving through a pedestrian crossing on Constant Spring Road in St Andrew.

He was later apprehended by the police and charged with careless driving, to which he plead guilty in court and was fined $5,000.

Further checks revealed that he had an outstanding warrant for having no drivers’ badge, for which he was fined an additional $10,000 in court.

A photo of the recent bus infringement along Constant Spring Road in St Andrew, which was taken by a member of the public and ultimately reached the attention of the police, who acted promptly on the information. 

The police, in a statement following the development, said members of the public are being encouraged to continue to send images and videos of motorists breaching the Road Traffic Act to the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) tip-line at 876-591-5671.

The police also encouraged individuals to come forward with both photos and footage, so that statements can be taken to solidify cases that are brought to court.

One day after the Constant Spring Road incident, a white Coaster bus with the name ‘Chrome’ written across the front windshield, was caught on camera speeding along the sidewalk on Maxfield Avenue in the vicinity of the RSU, and in close proximity to the Half-Way Tree Police Station.

Hare said there is a positive development coming out of the Constant Spring Road incident, as drivers are now aware that their actions are being recorded, and more of them are observing the rules of the road.

Meanwhile, Hare lamented that 306 persons have already lost their lives due to motor vehicle crashes since the start of the year. He said drastic measures are needed to curb the carnage on the nation’s roads.

He said it is unfortunate that “… we reach a stage in this country where it looks like to be slack on the road network is the norm, but we are going to firmly resist it.”

Speaking about the road traffic victims, Hare said: “They’re not going to celebrate Christmas; they were here last year Christmas and now motor vehicle crashes killed them off before their time.

“Psalm Chapter 90 says you’re supposed to live to see 70 years, and you can get extra after that.”

Hare also lamented that most of the persons killed on the roads die in traffic crashes that “don’t make sense”. These include crashes where persons were not wearing protective devices like seatbelts and safety helmets.

“A lot of people have been killed in this country because they refuse to wear their seatbelts,” Hare stated.

As it relates to motorcyclists who account for roughly one-third of all road fatalities so far this year, Hare said: “I don’t understand these motorcyclists because the shops don’t sell heads, they don’t sell brains.”

Nonetheless, he said there are many motorcyclists who are adjusting, but there are still far too many who are not adjusting despite being ticketed, prosecuted and having their motorcycles seized.

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