The 4th Jamaica Driver and Traffic Safety Expo was launched on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at the Half Way Tree Transport Centre.
Under the theme, ‘Jamaica 50, Road Safety fi all a wi’, several speakers endorsed the event scheduled for the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre on Saturday, June 16, 2012. In his remarks, AlphonsoGrennell, Expo Chairman and Managing Director of Grennell’s Driving School thanked the various entities that have partnered with him in making the Expo a reality over the years. He noted that despite the various challenges, he has found it a worthy effort trying to assist with encouraging habits that will improve safety on our roads.
In endorsing the initiative, international race car driver, David Summerbell said that he was particularly pleased to be associated with the Expo. He said that though his business was concerned with speed, he was advocating engaging in it in a controlled environment such as at Dover Race Track. He cautioned persons to be ever mindful of the road safety message as that will help in improving productivity and by extension life expectancy in Jamaica.
But it was the very powerful testimony of Stephanie Whyte, a motorcar crash victim that made an impact with those in attendance. Recounting how she had gone to a party with her boyfriend, only to wake up in the hospital later, suffering from serious injuries she received in a road crash, she highlighted how she has been experiencing challenging times on her way back to recovery. She called upon persons using the traffic environment to be very mindful of their surroundings as that could mean the difference between life and death, literally. She noted that with the loving support of family, friends and her community, she has been able to maintain a positive outlook on the whole episode, but that she had been having some setbacks especially where medical bills were3 concerned.
Giving the keynote address was Minister of State within the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Richard Azan. He too was very impressed by Ms. Whyte’s recounting of her story. He said that her story should serve as an inspiration to others, especially youngsters who sometimes seemingly believe that they cannot be affected by accidents. He said he was very pleased to be a part of the launching ceremony and that he stood committed to lending his support in any way that he could.
Also speaking at the launching ceremony, was Mr. Milton Samuda, Expo patron and President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce who said that he expected that the whole matter of road safety would be seen in the context of a partnership among the various stakeholders. He said that he was happy to lend the support to the event, especially coming from a private sector context.
The Driver & Traffic Safety Expo will have as MC, Jennifer ‘Jennyy Jenny’ Small and will have entertainment as well as prizes and surprises throughout the day.