There has been a ten (10) percent decrease in the number of fatal crashes on the Jamaican roads in comparison to the corresponding period last year. According to figures released by the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, 0ne Hundred and Eighty Seven (187) fatal crashes occurred last year in contrast to One Hundred and Sixty Eight (168) this year.
In the meantime there has been a three (3) percent drop in fatalities. Last year this time there were Two Hundred and One (201) fatalities in contrast to One Hundred and Ninety Five (195) so far this year.
Director of Public Relations and Communication in the Ministry, Vando Palmer, says the decrease is a result of the sustained activities of Operation Zero Tolerance, which begun on May 7. Since then the Island Traffic Authority (ITA), has removed over One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifteen (1,715) pairs of license plates from defective vehicles.
According to Mr. Palmer, before Operation Zero Tolerance the fatality rate was running ahead of last year by over 20 deaths. He says the sustained presence of the police and the ITA has resulted in a significant change in the behaviour of motorists in the traffic environment., hence the fall in the figures.
He explains that whenever, license plates are removed, a report is sent to the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ), which then blocks the vehicle from being issued new plates unless the defect is corrected and a C2 certificate issued.
Operation Zero Tolerance is slated to run for three months in the first instance but it could continue beyond this based on its current success rate.