To­gether we can make our roads safer

Jamaica Gleaner - - MATIONAL RAOD SAFETY COUNCIL'S -

de­ci­sions that can im­pact life. As we do not have con­trol over the ac­tions of oth­ers, all road users need to be able to per­ceive risk and take mit­i­gat­ing ac­tion. I call on all Ja­maicans to be safer road users so we can all look for­ward to play­ing our part within our fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties and the na­tion to fur­ther de­vel­op­ment and progress of our beloved coun­try. AN­DREW HOL­NESS Prime Min­is­ter

IT IS with a heavy heart that I as­so­ciate with this sig­nif­i­cant day, as we recog­nise the vic­tims of road traf­fic crashes and the shat­tered fam­i­lies they have left be­hind. These fam­i­lies must now cope with the emo­tional con­se­quences of the events. In ad­di­tion, this day will en­able Ja­maica and the world to cre­ate an even greater aware­ness of the im­pact this dis­as­ter, called road traf­fic crashes, is hav­ing on our peo­ple, the econ­omy and the world.

This year’s World Day of Re­mem­brance theme is ‘From Global Re­mem­brance to Global Ac­tion Across the Decade – Vi­tal Post-crash Ac­tions: Med­i­cal Care, In­ves­ti­ga­tion, Jus­tice!’ The theme re­lates to the call in Pil­lar 5 of the Global Plan for the Decade of Ac­tion for much-needed im­prove­ments in the post-crash re­sponse. It is a timely re­minder for us to have proper re­sponse sys­tems for vic­tims. This in­cludes on-site care, trans­porta­tion and trauma care of in­jured per­sons, in­ves­ti­ga­tion, anal­y­sis and re­con­struc­tion of traf­fic crashes.

LOSS OF LIFE

Nu­mer­ous stud­ies of avoid­able trauma deaths have sug­gested that in the pre-hos­pi­tal and hos­pi­tal phases, a pro­por­tion of blunt road trauma deaths could be avoided with op­ti­mal care. Please seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion within the first hour of the crash, and don’t de­lay.

Ef­forts have been made dur­ing the pe­riod 2011-2014 to en­hance Ja­maica’s crash in­ves­ti­ga­tion, anal­y­sis and re­con­struc­tion skills to en­sure that crash Henry

vic­tims can ac­quire jus­tice through the proper in­ves­ti­ga­tion and anal­y­sis of traf­fic crashes. My min­istry en­sured that road safety of­fi­cers in the min­istry, Na­tional Works Agency, po­lice and mil­i­tary re­ceived three phases of crash in­ves­ti­ga­tion and re­con­struc­tion train­ing.

We will en­sure that our Road Safety Unit is fully strength­ened to com­ple­ment the po­lice in this process, and my min­istry will al­ways lend a help­ing to the po­lice.

Presently, Ja­maica has the best cadre of crash in­ves­ti­ga­tors, an­a­lysts and re­con­struc­tion­ists in the Caribbean who have been pro­vid­ing the jus­tice sys­tem with qual­ity in­for­ma­tion on the specifics of the crash event.

Let us con­demn bad be­hav­iour in the traf­fic en­vi­ron­ment and where we see it, call 119 to re­port it. I ap­peal to the pop­u­la­tion to fully utilise the JCF Stay Alert app and let us lever­age it not only for crime pre­ven­tion, but also for road safety.

Thanks to my col­leagues in Par­lia­ment for the vig­or­ous de­bate that has taken place so far on the new Road Traf­fic Bill. It is my in­ten­tion to have the bill passed in the Up­per House as soon as pos­si­ble. It con­tains a num­ber of new pro­vi­sions which pro­mote road safety. I en­cour­age you to get on board with the new bill when it is passed into law. To­gether we can make our roads a safer place. MICHAEL HENRY Min­is­ter of Trans­port and Min­ing

We are sad­dened at the loss of lives caused by road traf­fic crashes yearly. Since Jan­uary, over 330 per­sons have been killed on our roads. Mo­tor­cy­clists ac­count for the sin­gle high­est num­ber of Ja­maican males (81), who have lost their lives; 72 were pedes­tri­ans; 65 were pas­sen­gers of pri­vate mo­tor ve­hi­cles and 47 were pri­vate mo­tor ve­hi­cle driv­ers. This has, again, ex­ceeded the tar­get of be­low 300. It should be noted that for ev­ery per­son who dies in a crash, many more are left with per­ma­nent dis­abil­i­ties.

The con­tribut­ing fac­tors of road traf­fic crashes in Ja­maica are speed­ing, hu­man er­rors, fail­ure to obey the road codes and prac­tise proper road eti­quette, and de­fec­tive ve­hi­cles.

The min­istry will con­tinue to work tire­lessly to en­sure that the roads are safer for all Ja­maicans in ac­cor­dance to the Global Plan for the Decade of Ac­tion.

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