Motorcyclists in western Jamaica participate in safety workshop

Back to Basic’s practical instructor, Norman Chung, was in his element as he gave directions to biker Petal Gayle at the recently concluded Motorcycle Safety Workshop held in Lucea, Hanover. (Photos: Contributed)
Back to Basic’s practical instructor, Norman Chung, was in his element as he gave directions to biker Petal Gayle at the recently concluded Motorcycle Safety Workshop held in Lucea, Hanover. (Photos: Contributed)

If you’ve ever visited the parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland, chances are you would’ve witnessed the growing phenomenon of bike taxis.

For many, bike taxis are convenient, fast and reliable, as they navigate through areas that may be impassable for other vehicles. Still, the region continues to record one of the highest fatality rates as a result of motorcycles. That is why Sandals Resorts International was quick to partner with professional motorcycling entity Back to Basics (BTB) for their motorcycle safety workshops.

“The level of fatalities amongst motorcyclists in Jamaica, especially in the western region, is not only too high but totally unnecessary. There are things that Jamaica as a country ought to have done but has never done to help to tackle or avert this epidemic. Back to Basic’s objective is to save lives by triggering long-overdue changes in the culture of motorcycling in Jamaica,” shared Tarik Kiddoe, BTB’s founder and CEO.

These bikers from Hanover seemed pretty focused as they went through a number of topics at the Back to Basics Motorcycle Safety Workshop.
These bikers from Hanover seemed pretty focused as they went through a number of topics at the Back to Basics Motorcycle Safety Workshop.

This year, the workshop was held at the Hanover Youth Innovation Centre. Scores of bikers turned up to participate in the one-day session. Many of the motorcyclists present either operate bike taxis or use the bikes to deliver goods for companies. A few females also participated in the initiative.

The workshop took a theoretical and practical approach that saw the participants going through a number of topics, including risk awareness, risk management, understanding safety gears and understanding motorcycling techniques. For the practical aspect, they went through steps aimed at assessing their competence and employing the strategies they learned through the lecture.