IAJ-spon­sored project reaps suc­cess in re­duc­ing bike fa­tal­i­ties

Jamaica Gleaner - - MATIONAL RAOD SAFETY COUNCIL'S -

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

CON­TRIB­UTED

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