Let us make road safety a way of life


AS WORLD Day of Re­mem­brance for Road Traf­fic Vic­tims is be­ing com­mem­o­rated on Novem­ber 20, Ja­maica joins with the world com­mu­nity to re­mem­ber those who have died or have been in­jured in a road crash. Their loved ones and care­givers are also be­ing re­mem­bered as they suf­fer, too, as a re­sult.

The theme to mark this year’s ob­ser­vance is: ‘From Global Re­mem­brance to Global Ac­tion across the Decade – Vi­tal Post-crash ac­tions: Med­i­cal Care, In­ves­ti­ga­tion, Jus­tice!’ This theme re­lates to the call in the Post-crash Pil­lar 5 of the Global Plan for the Decade of Ac­tion for Road Safety 2011-2020, for which I signed a dec­la­ra­tion to sig­nify that Ja­maica is a par­tic­i­pant in this global move­ment.

The theme re­flects the move glob­ally to­wards us­ing the Safe Sys­tems Ap­proach to road safety. This ap­proach em­bod­ies the view that death and se­ri­ous in­jury from crashes can be pre­vented and al­lows for con­sid­er­a­tion of mis­takes made due to poor choices as road users. This ap­proach does not ig­nore or en­cour­age risk-tak­ing be­hav­iour, but ac­knowl­edges hu­man vul­ner­a­bil­ity and the need for greater al­lowances for hu­man er­ror, and that these er­rors should not re­sult in death or se­ri­ous in­jury. As a na­tion, we must con­tinue to act to re­duce the spike in fa­tal­i­ties de­stroy­ing our peo­ple and im­pact­ing our na­tional de­vel­op­ment. There is too much pain, grief and suf­fer­ing when we lose our loved ones, fam­ily and friends to crashes. We must strive to do our part to re­duce the strain on the al­ready over­bur­dened hos­pi­tal re­sources and the sever­ity of the pub­lic health prob­lem caused by crashes. Let us all join hands and hearts as we each do our part to make road safety a way of life. SIR PA­TRICK ALLEN Gov­er­nor Gen­eral Sir Pa­trick Allen

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