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Jamaican Road Safety Gets Continued Attention At All Levels

KINGSTON — On the morning of Wednesday, June 19 this year an accident along a section of the Barbican main road in Hanover, Jamaica, claimed the lives of two people while leaving 18 others injured.

According to Sandy Bay police reports, Kevaughn Sutherland, who was driving a Nissan Tiida, swerved to avoid hitting a huge pothole. In doing so, he collided with Everton Riley who was behind the wheel of a passenger-laden Toyota Hiace minibus.

Each driver was declared dead upon arrival at Lucea Hospital and two passengers sustained life-threatening injuries. In the month of June, a total of 35 people were killed on the roads of Jamaica.

According to the Road Safety Unit of the Ministry of Transport, fatalities increased by 24 percent since 2018 while fatal crashes are up by nearly 30 percent. With this increase in road accidents, it is becoming increasingly important for everyone to strive towards keeping the roads of Jamaica as safe as possible.

Road safety promoted at traffic expo

With road accidents becoming an increasing concern in the country, road safety advocates made good use of the annual Jamaica Driver and Traffic Safety Expo that was held on 15 June, to drive home their important message. 

The event, which falls in the National Road Safety Month, was led by the Grennell’s Driving School and consisted of a variety of activities, booths, and engaging games that took place over the course of the day. Among the attendees was none other than Senator Matthew Samuda who was seen mingling Alphonso Grennell who is the Expo Chairman as well as the Communication & Sustainability Executive of Red Stripe, Tyheissa Williams.  

Drinking and driving needs to be discouraged

According to the legal team at FVF Law,  drunk driving accidents are particularly dreadful due to the fact that they are 100% preventable. While the crash in Hanover was indirectly caused by a pothole, drunk driving remains an area of great concern in Jamaica. At the expo, corporate crusaders including Red Stripe made every effort to punt their responsible drinking campaign known as Drink Right.

The campaign, which was born more than a decade ago in 2008, actively encourages the youth to only consume alcohol when they are legally allowed to do so and to always do so in moderation. This ongoing effort aims to not only reduce the number of alcohol-related road accidents in Jamaica but to encourage the youth to live overall healthy lives as well.

Basic road safety of vital importance

In a bid to decrease the number of road accidents, the Road Safety Unit continuously issue a number of road safety rules to the public. These tips are all extremely easy to execute and include things such as always wearing a seatbelt and adhering to speed limits at all times.

It is important to avoid all distractions while driving and to refrain from driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. Be courteous to other road users including pedestrians and don’t ever change lanes or turn unless it is absolutely safe to do so. 

Road safety should be a top priority for all road users. Whether you drive a car, truck, or ride a motorcycle always ensure that you adhere to all rules of the road without exception.

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VI Free Press

VI Free Press

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