Friday 23 August, 2019

RSU revises projection for traffic deaths as fatalities soar

Police and civilians attend to an injured motorcyclist following a road accident in Dunrobin, St Andrew earlier this year.

Police and civilians attend to an injured motorcyclist following a road accident in Dunrobin, St Andrew earlier this year.

The Road Safety Unit (RSU) in the Ministry of Transport has slashed by nine percentage points its projected decline in road deaths this year amid a spike in fatalities over the last several weeks.

Less than three weeks ago, when 92 people had been killed in motor vehicle crashes, the RSU was projecting a 15 per cent decline in road deaths this year compared to 2018, when 389 people perished on the nation’s roads.

As of Monday, the RSU had slashed that number to just six per cent, as road deaths raced to 116 since January 1.

In fact, 10 people have been killed in motor vehicle crashes since last Wednesday, according to the latest figures released by the Unit. There have been 18 more road fatalities than days in the year so far.

Motorcyclists continue to present the most worry for the RSU. Up to last Wednesday, 30 motorcyclists had been killed in traffic crashes, making up 28 per cent of the 106 victims up to that time.

As of Monday, the RSU was reporting that 35 motorcyclists had died in traffic crashes, representing 30 per cent of fatalities.

As a result, the Unit is making yet another appeal for this vulnerable group of road users and their pillions, to wear their helmets and other protective devices to protect against major injuries and possible fatalities in the event of a crash.

A breakdown of the latest statistics show that, of those killed, 27 were pedestrians, nine were pedal cyclists, 35 motorcyclists, two pillions, 18 were private motor vehicle passengers, three were passengers of commercial motor vehicles, one driver of a public passenger vehicle, 20 were drivers of private motor vehicles while one was the driver of a commercial vehicle.

A further breakdown of the statistics show that pedestrians account for 23 per cent of the road users killed since the start of the year; private motor vehicle drivers account for 17 per cent; and private motor vehicle passengers account for 16 per cent.

Vulnerable road users, which is made up of pedestrians, pedal cyclists, motorcyclists and pillions account for 63 per cent of the road users killed since the start of the year.

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