| www.jamaica-gleaner.com | ROAD SAFETY MONTH FEATURE A7 THE GLEANER, THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2020 As the world fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, it has impacted the nation of Jamaica in a way we have never seen before, causing much economic hardships. Needless to say, COVID-19 has also affected the transportation sector in a tremendous way. This pandemic has already killed thousands of people worldwide, with the expectation of more to come as the pandemic hits low to middle-income countries with limited capacity to manage the crisis. As we focus on controlling this pandemic and manoeuvre “the new normal”, road crashes remain a major issue in Jamaica. Since the start of the year, 168 persons have been killed in fatal crashes. A breakdown of the figures reveal that majority of these fatalities were motorcyclists. While the statistics show an 18% decrease in fatalities when compared to last year in this time, we must not be complacent in the fight to reduce road fatalities below 300 or even zero. As more Jamaicans work from home and on the Flexi-Work schedule, it is disappointing that persons are still not obeying the rules of the road. Even with curfews in effect, data from the Road Safety Unit revealed that 5 road traffic deaths occurred during curfew hours in April and May. I can never overemphasize the urgent need for greater care when using the nation’s roads. Each person must respect themselves and their fellow road user. In doing so, the process of road safety will be tremendously enhanced. Drivers, Slow Down and Save Lives – Speed is a major factor in the cause and outcome of road collisions. Drive at the right speed and obey the road code. Do not drive while fatigued. Always wear your Seatbelt and ensure passengers are wearing theirs too, no matter how short the journey. Never use mobile phones when driving and never overload a vehicle with passengers. Obey the social distancing rules. Never, ever, drink and drive as alcohol impairs your ability to drive carefully. Pedestrians, take care when you are out walking and conducting business. Always wear masks in public spaces, and visible clothing while observing socially distance rules. Be Safe. Be Seen. Act responsibly. Please be aware of the curfew times being enforced by Government and “Tan a yuh Yard”. During this pandemic, your health and awareness is very important in order to continue saving lives. Along with all the suffering, loss, and upheaval of COVID-19, we have the opportunity to evolve the transportation sector and our personal lives. Remember Road Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
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