The Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing’s island-wide road tour got off to a great start on Saturday September 28. The Tour kicked off with the first stop at the Sagicor Shopping Centre, and saw patrons welcoming the message of road safety with open eyes and ears. The Tour then moved to Old Harbour and culminated with a massive gathering in May Pen Town Centre. The message of “Walk, Ride and Drive for Life” took root among the hundreds of persons who gathered to see the Road Safety Ambassadors Voicemail, Tanya Stephens, SSP Radcliffe Lewis and Jenny Jenny, along with representatives from the Island Traffic Authority, Transport Authority, Insurance Association of Jamaica, Jamaica Urban Transit Company, National Road Safety Council and The Road Safety Unit.
Taking the stage to resounding applause, SSP Radcliffe Lewis informed patrons that tinting will be removed from all public passenger vehicles in the very near future, and assured that passengers have a right to be transported safety, free from lewd and crass music and overloading in taxis and coaster buses.
Acting Director at the Road Safety Unit, Mrs Deidre Hudson-Sinclair, used the opportunity to caution pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings within the traffic environment and refrain from undertaking risky and dangerous manoeuvres such as texting and walking. She also encouraged the children at hand to always look right, left and right again before crossing the street, and to utilize pedestrian crossings, stoplights and crosswalks correctly.
Entertainers Voicemail shared their personal experiences with aggressive and dangerous motorists with the audience, and beseeched them to take responsibility for their own safety by learning from the misfortunes of others and “Walk, Ride and Drive for Life”. “We are road users too and the same bad driving that you might encounter out there, trust me, we encounter it too. Road fatalities do not discriminate; it had no preference for race, colour, class or creed. We all have a role to play in this cause and we are grateful that we are part of this effort to stop the madness on the roads because we are all Jamaicans.”
Tanya Stephens’ message to the public was simple and straight forward. She pointed out that statistics show that approximately 80% of the persons killed on the roads are men. She lamented that the society already has a problem with the absence of males from the homes, and that part of the role of being safe is to avoid being on the roads unnecessarily. “Sometimes the men need to stay home with their families. Too many times persons drive for no reason at all, leaving their children and women at home only to go on the road and cause mayhem. Gas is expensive, car parts expensive and insurance is expensive. If you don’t have to be on the road just stay home. Too many persons are on the road for joy-ride and they cause mayhem with speeding, drinking and driving and even texting and driving”, she argued.
MC for the programme, Jenny Jenny, was excellent in her interactions with patrons, who competed in dancing, singing, trivia and other competitions.
Patrons competing in the Safe-Driving dance competition.