The Ministry of Transport, Works & Housing is the first recipient of the International Road Fund (IRF) ‘Decade of Action Find A Way’ award.
The award was presented to the Ministry at the recent International Road Federation Caribbean Congress held in Montego Bay, St. James. The award is given to an entity which recognizes outstanding personal commitment to safer roads by national, regional or city government.
The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on May 11, 2011in more than100 countries with one goal: to prevent five million road traffic deaths globally by 2020. The award was instituted by His Excellency Abdullah Al-Mogbel, Chairman of the International Road Fund who recognized the value of political leadership in driving road safety strategies. The award will be presented every year on the anniversary of the launch of the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
According to Patrick Sankey, President and CEO of the IRF, the Ministry was being recognized for overseeing an “ambitious regulatory overhaul and infrastructure improvement programme; its efforts in the ‘Below 300 Save Lives’ campaign as well as efforts to provide a safe traffic environment for all road users in Jamaica.” Additionally, the Award recognizes the Ministry’s decision to halt its use of ‘fishtail or turned down’ barrier terminals on new road projects, a move which is consistent with IRF guidelines on safe roadside design.
In accepting the award on behalf of the Ministry, Director of the Road Safety Unit , Mr. Kenute Hare and Chief Technical Director in the Ministry Dr. Janine Dawkins said they were extremely pleased at the recognition. Both Hare and Dawkins said that the award is a validation of the serious work that the Ministry has been doing in the area of road safety and design; they are however calling upon the entire Jamaican population to be more cognizant of road safety issues so that they can do their part in promoting and embracing the road safety message.
For his part, President & CEO of the IRF, Pat Sankey said that the Ministry of Transport, Works & Housing and by extension, Jamaica were worthy recipients of the award. “There is no room for complacency when lives are at risk. If something is important to you, you will find a way; if it is not important to you, you’ll find an excuse – our new award recognizes those policymakers who made change happen and Jamaica has demonstrated its commitment in making meaningful change happen.”
The Award ceremony was the culmination of three days of discussions and presentations on just about everything pertaining to roads and was attended by participants from the World Bank, the IDB, the CDB, the Red Cross as well as delegates from 31 nations.