Minister without portfolio (Housing) Hon. Dr. Morais Guy gave the keynote address at the Launch of Road Safety Month under the aegis of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) at the Total Gas Station on Dominica Drive, New Kingston on June 5, 2013.
In delivering the keynote address, Minister Guy noted that to date there was a 5% increase in road fatalities, a situation which he said did not augur well for achieving the ‘Below 240’ target. He said that though the figures were better than those of 2011, ‘the death of any Jamaican is a tragedy and an undesirable happening as it results in pain and family disruption. How do you console 114 families when their loved ones will never return,” he queried.
Continuing Minister Guy said, “the gains achieved last year will be strengthened by this Ministry as we seek to sustainably reduce our road crashes, thus ensuring that Jamaica’s road safety apparatus is operating in accordance with contemporary road safety standards. “
In this respect, the Minister said that the Government of Jamaica is addressing the road safety issue through the National Road Safety Policy which is predicated in five fundamental tenets:
- Education and Information
- Emergency Response and
- Enforcement and Legislation
This is a Policy that highlights the approach that should be taken to address the nation’s safety issues and has played its role in systematically reducing road fatalities since its inception in 2004.
In terms of assistance Jamaica has been getting help from the Inter-American Bank’s Road Safety Improvement Programme in strengthening various rod safety institutions in the following areas:
- Road Safety Audit Management
- Crash Data System
- Crash Investigation, analysis and reconstruction
- Defensive Driving and
- Road Safety Engineering
In terms of specifics, some 80 persons have been trained across Jamaica in Road Safety Audit Management by the UK’s Aston University and Mott McDonald while 70 persons are being trained in collision investigation, analysis and reconstruction; the latter is expected to be completed on June 28, 2013. This latter course, the training is being undertaken by the University of North Florida’s Institute of Police Technology and Management.
Minister Guy also disclosed that by 2016, the intention is to sustain all road safety programmes through the Caribbean Maritime Institute. In that respect, they will be offering a Diploma Course in Crash Investigation and Re-construction, once certain things are put in place. When the Course would have been started, all Science and Mathematics students are encouraged to consider being trained as Crash Investigators and Reconstructions.