IAJ-sponsored project reaps success in reducing bike fatalities
The extended protection offered by the helmet to the sides of the head, as in the so-called jet-type helmets and full-face helmet, seems to be an improvement, but such helmets have disadvantages.
Visors do not appear to be significant cause of injury, and undoubtedly they sometimes prevent facial damage.
Since the most common injury of cyclists is head injury, there is a good case for an acceptable helmet.
Leather clothing reduces the risk of extensive superficial soft-tissue injury. It also seems to reduce the tendency of the body to tumble and gives it a smoother motion when it slides over the road surface in a crash. Bikers getting instructions from Tarik Kiddoe and Jordan Mullings.
THE INSURANCE Association of Jamaica (IAJ) took a decision to sponsor workshops to train motorcyclists to ride their bikes properly at its AGM in April 2016. Eric Hosin, the newly elected president of the IAJ, noted at the time that of the 117 persons killed in road crashes between January and April 14, 2016, 34 per cent of them were motor cyclists with 80 per cent of them from the Westmoreland area, according to statistics released by the Road Safety Unit of the Ministry of Transport.
Two workshops dubbed, ‘Back to Basics’ were conducted by Tarik Kiddoe, leader of the Kingston-based Shango Bikers. They were held in Westmoreland, which had become a major zone for deadly motorcycle crashes in July and September.
In August, the Shango Bikers also did a workshop in the Corporate Area targeting bearers. The Island Traffic Authority, the Road Safety Unit and the police were partners with the IAJ on this initiative, working with Kiddoe to carry out the programme.
“While the IAJ supports the speedy passing of the Road Traffic Act, it was also
important to deal with one of the root causes of the crashes, that is, driver and rider behaviour,” Hosin said.
The project has received enthusiastic support from the many bikers in Westmoreland and Kingston who took part in the workshop. Most of them now have valid driver’s Licences earned at the workshops, in keeping with the new requirements coming when the new Road Traffic Act is passed. In addition, they have mastered proper biking techniques and the importance of the proper use of safety gear.
The IAJ believes the initiative has changed the direction of road safety among bikers, particularly those in Westmoreland. Figures released last week by the Road Traffic Unit, as at November 10, show that motorcycle fatalities are projected to decrease by 19 per cent in 2016. Motorcycle fatalities are now 25 per cent of fatalities, compared with 34 per cent in April 2016. Motorcycle fatalities in Westmoreland are now 35 per cent of all fatalities islandwide, compared to 80 per cent in April 2016. The success is due to the hard work of the partners. Sandals