Jamaica records highest number of road fatalities in years

The death toll since the start of the year now stands at 426 persons, the Road Safety Unit is reporting.

In the latest statistics released by the unit for December 26, the deaths resulted from 390 fatal crashes. Fatal crashes and fatalities have increased by 15 per cent and 12 respectively when compared with similar period in 2018.

With just a few days left to go before the end of the year, the Road Safety Unit says fatalities for 2019 are projected to increase by seven per cent when compared with last year.

According to the breakdown of the figures, child fatalities are projected to increase by 24 per cent by the end of the year, and elderly fatalities by 21 per cent. Pedestrian deaths for 2019 are expected to record an 18 per cent increase.

Meanwhile, private motor vehicle passenger fatalities for 2019 are projected to decrease by 16 per cent when compared with 2018, and driver fatalities in that category by nine per cent. At the same time, deaths from crashes involving motorcycles are projected to continue to climb, by as much as 30 per cent. Pedal cyclist fatalities are projected to decrease by eight per cent. The Unit is also reporting that vulnerable road users—pedestrians, pedal cyclists, motorcyclists and pillion— account for 64 per cent of road deaths.