Road safety is ev­ery­one’s busi­ness


IT IS im­por­tant for us to have a day to share pre­cious mem­o­ries as we re­mem­ber our loved ones and friends no longer with us as a re­sult of a traf­fic crash. We hold them dear in our heart and cher­ish for­ever the mo­ments shared as we re­flect on and cel­e­brate their life. Not for­got­ten, also, are those with us who sur­vived a crash, and who we lov­ingly care for daily. We also think about their care­givers who de­vote the time to en­sure their com­fort and help them to cope.

World Re­mem­brance Day for Road Traf­fic Vic­tims is the day for this type of recog­ni­tion. This day was in­sti­tuted by the United Na­tions 11 years ago and Ja­maica has been ob­serv­ing it for 10 of those years. It is com­mem­o­rated on the third Sun­day of Novem­ber.

Road crashes are a global epi­demic, and we here in Ja­maica have our own sto­ries to tell which we see, all too of­ten, on our tele­vi­sion screen, in the news­pa­pers and with in­creas­ing fre­quency on so­cial me­dia. In the lat­ter case, many of the im­ages are of­ten quite dis­tress­ing to the loved ones, and is a prac­tice that the Na­tional Road Safety Coun­cil (NRSC) is ask­ing that peo­ple de­sist from en­gag­ing in.

Due to the var­i­ous ini­tia­tives im­ple­mented, we recorded a de­clin­ing fa­tal­ity rate for two decades down to 2012. Since 2012, how­ever, we have been hav­ing some chal­lenges in main­tain­ing the down­ward trend.

Fa­tal­i­ties have been as high as 444 in 1991, drop­ping to a lower level of 260 in 2012, which is still too high a num­ber. There­after, un­for­tu­nately, road fa­tal­i­ties be­gan in­creas­ing and this led to 382 fa­tal­i­ties in 2015. Tra­di­tion­ally, pedes­tri­ans are the largest cat­e­gory of road users who die

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