Monday 19 August, 2019

Worn roads causing crashes - director of Road Safety Unit

Canute Hare, director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport. 

Canute Hare, director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport. 

Worn roads factor into some of the island's crashes, leading to fatalities, says Canute Hare, director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport. 
 
Speaking at a United Nations convened Caribbean Road Safety Workshop at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) offices in St Andrew, on Thursday, Hare said the unit was able to gather information about the roads from airbags of vehicles involved in crashes.
 
“Cars with airbags are smart vehicles with black boxes and they are speaking. A critical piece of data that we have picked up is the fact that the road infrastructure has deficiencies,” he said. 

 "It, therefore, means that a lot of times when we will look at the crash data, we will blame the driver, for what transpired when it is the road that helped to contribute to their demise," Hare said.
 
Hare said the Road Safety Unit is trying to acquire a friction tester, to gather further data on the role of worn roads have in accidents.
 
Hare also reasoned that lack of enforcement of the road traffic law, in addition to lack of proper equipment and commitment from various governments over the years, have contributed to the high rate of road fatalities.
 
He said the use of breathalysers was also an issue. 

 “The issue of the breathalyser, we have the law from 1995 but we are not committed to enforcing it. The entire breathalyser system in Jamaica is pop down.

 "The law requires us to test for drugs from as far back as 1995, we have refused to procure the devices that will allow us to do it and we find all the different excuses, while 300 and odd die each year," Hare said.

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