Permanent Secretary, Dr. Alwin Hales on Thursday, November 5, delivered the keynote address at the launch of the 2010 Toyota Prado at Devon House. He deputised for Minister Mike Henry who was unavoidably absent.
In congratulating Toyota for the launch, the Permanent Secretary noted that Jamaica has had ‘an extremely amorous relationship with Toyota for many years’. ‘This relationship’, he said, ‘encompasses the “small man” right up to the powerful movers and shakers of the society’.
Dr. Hales used the opportunity to highlight various features of the vehicle. Some of these he highlighted as:
- SRS Air Bags
- Ventilated Disc Brakes
- Double Link Brake Pedal
- Whiplash Inquiry Lessening (WIL)
- Vehicle Stability Control System.
He outlined the safety features of the vehicle in the context of the unacceptably high accident rate on the Jamaican roads. He cited figures up to that point which revealed that 273 persons had been killed on our roads since the start of the year. Seventeen of those killed were in the month of October. He appealed to all road users to support the efforts of the Ministry of Transport and Works, the National Road Safety Council, the Road Safety Unit and other stakeholders in keeping fatalities from traffic crashes below 300.
Dr. Hales also spoke to various projects that the Ministry of Transport and Works is involved as far as road works is concerned. Some of these he highlighted as:
- The Washington Boulevard Improvement Project
- The widening of the Waterloo Road Bridge
- Construction of a major gabion retaining wall in Hall’s Delight, St. Andrew
- Construction of a gabion retaining wall in Trout Hall, Clarendon
- Construction of a “U” drain in Irwin, St, James as well as construction of several bridges all over the island.
The Permanent Secretary while congratulating Toyota for the launch of the Prado, sought their support for some of the projects in which the Ministry is involved, in particular, the ones concerning road safety.