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