Jamaican road fatalities racing to 400 mark — motorists urged to slow down

The numbers are out. And they are frightening.

As at Wednesday (Sept 18), 312 persons were killed from close to 290 fatal crashes. The Road Safety Unit at the Ministry of Transport and Mining is projecting that the country could surpass the 400-mark by the end of 2019. Three hundred eighty-nine road fatalities were recorded last year.

“We are appealing to drivers to cut their speed and look out for vulnerable road users”

— Director of the Road Safety Unit, Kenute Hare

Director of the Road Safety Unit, Kenute Hare, says road users must exercise greater caution. “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 utilize them and children are securely fastened in the correct protective devices,” Hare said.

Just about one-third of those killed have been motorcyclists (96 already this year). Motorcyclists, pedestrians, pedal cyclists and pillion riders account for 64 per cent of fatalities. Pedestrians account for 25 percent of road deaths.

Who are they? Well, the majority of fatalities are males (89 per cent). Road users aged 20 to 29 (mostly motorcyclists) and persons aged 60 and over (mostly pedestrians).

So, do you know the most dangerous days of the week to be “doing road”? That would be on weekends. St. Catherine, St. James, Clarendon, St. Ann and Westmoreland are right out in front in terms of fatalities.

These are sobering statistics.

Take care on the roads!