With the onset of the ‘emancipendence’ weekend and the subsequent accompanying partying that takes place, the Road Safety Unit (RSU) is moving in a proactive manner to educate party-goers about the dangers of consuming alcoholic beverages before, during and after driving. To this end, the RSU team will be present at the highly touted Appleton Temptation Isle’s 10th anniversary (ATI) in Negril--albeit with a message of safety.
Education and Information Officer at the Road Safety Unit, Da’Reon Sevanell, explained that the Unit’s mandate at such an event is driven by overwhelming statistics that drive the decisions at the Unit. “For many years we have been hearing of persons coming from these parties and getting into fatal collisions, mainly because of drunk driving, coupled with excessive speeding and the non-wearing of seatbelts. However, this year the RSU wants to be more proactive and preventative, rather than reactive and sending condolences to families and loved ones, so we are starting our campaign to educate party-goers about the dangers of alcohol and driving with the ATI series of events in Negril.”
During the Emancipation / Independence weekends last year, there were 11 road fatalities across the island as a result of 10 fatal crashes, with numerous other serious and minor injuries because of motor vehicle collisions. According to information from the Negril Police, the Norman Manley Boulevard, as well as the Sheffield to Retreat main roads pose the most serious threat to safety, as motorists use these thoroughfares to speed and engage in other reckless practices on the roads.
Mr. Sevanell added that the message being promoted by the Road Safety Unit leading up to this year’s ATI is “Designate a driver: Designate a drive.