The 3rd staging of the Jamaica Driver and Traffic Safety Expo was launched at the Ministry of Transport and Works on Friday, July 10 under the theme, “Road Safety Saves…”
The Expo is being held under the aegis of Grennell’s Driving School which has partnered with stakeholders such as the Ministry of Transport and Works, Jamaica National Building Society, Total, the National Road Safety Council, the JGRA, the RJR Communication Group, CVM-TV and the Gleaner Company.
Speaking at the ceremony, Managing Director of Grennell’s Driving school, Alphonso Grennel outlined the vision behind starting the Expo. He said that the initiative to hold the Expo was borne out of the death of a relative by traffic accident. He said that through that experience he was moved to engage in efforts designed to reduce traffic accidents and the Expo was his way of doing so.
Continuing, Mr. Grennell said, “We are pleased that we are able to put this together for a third year, and we are quite delighted that our major sponsor, petroleum giants TOTAL is back on board to assist in our efforts to reach more Jamaicans with the road safety message.”
And for his part, Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry who gave the keynote address noted that ‘in the midst of all the madness that we experience on the roadways. There are indeed, rays of hope being generated by purposeful activities geared at changing the irresponsible attitudes out there.’
‘The Jamaica Driver and Traffic Safety Expo is a noted contributor to the cause, and is reflective of the need to bring greater recognition to the importance of practicing safer habits in the traffic environment”, Minister Henry said. To this end, the Minister said, “Certainly Grennell’s Driving School and its partners with the Driver and Traffic Safety Expo have been playing an important role.”
Also speaking at the ceremony was, Mr. Earl Jarrett who was attending the Expo in his capacity as its patron. In his discourse, Mr. Jarrett noted that the staging of the Expo during National Road safety Month served to remind that each person has an individual responsibility to ensure that, he or she uses the roadways with utmost care and in the legally prescribed manner
In speaking to initiatives to stem the tide of fatalities from road crashes, Mr. Jarrett said, “Over the past years, our country has been implementing a strategic plan to reduce deaths by road crashes to below 300, annually. While not hitting the target in this objective, much has been achieved; and significant strides have been made in other areas …as much work has been done to build our national capacity to improve road safety.
Some of these he said, include:
• Modernizing the Road Traffic Act
• Implementing a Traffic Ticket Management System to improve the management of traffic tickets issued by the Police
• Working with the Mona GeoInformatics Institute to develop an innovative approach to mapping and monitoring road crashes.
• Developing and implementing a plan from the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Response Strategy
• Participation in international conferences on road safety
The Jamaica Driver and Traffic Safety Expo is scheduled for Saturday, June 18 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.
Activities for the day will include:
• Defensive Driving Workshop
• Drivers Challenge
• Presentation on Pedestrian Safety
• Interactive Discussions
• Kiddies Village where rides and slides will be accessible throughout the day free.
Admission to the Expo will be free.