Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE -

REL­A­TIVES OF per­sons killed in traf­fic ac­ci­dents suf­fer im­mense emo­tional strain, and many unan­swered ques­tions linger when grue­some pho­to­graphs of the de­ceased per­sons, as well as the man­gled re­mains of mo­tor ve­hi­cles, are splashed across so­cial me­dia. These are stark and, of­ten, un­wanted re­minders.

It’s an un­bear­able ex­pe­ri­ence for one mother, Jean Davy, whose son was trag­i­cally killed in a crash along the North-South High­way last year, the an­guish of which was mul­ti­plied ten­fold, she said, as pho­to­graphs of her son’s body were cir­cu­lated on sev­eral so­cial-me­dia plat­forms via cell-phone record­ings.

She now pleads to the pub­lic to con­sider the pain of fam­ily mem­bers left to suf­fer the loss and is ask­ing for com­pas­sion and em­pa­thy.

“Be­fore tak­ing your smart­phones to record the death of some­one on their last breath at a crash scene to place them on so­cial me­dia, I am ask­ing that you please con­sider that per­son’s fam­ily. Imag­ine their pain,” pleaded Davy dur­ing yesterday’s Na­tional Road Safety Coun­cil midyear press brief­ing at the Of­fice of the Prime

Min­is­ter. Data was pre­sented show­ing a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of deaths on Ja­maica’s roads for the first time in the agency’s 25-year his­tory.

Ac­cord­ing to Davy, her 25year-old son, at the time of his death, was a univer­sity stu­dent and is now part of a painful statis­tic. But she noted that his death has been made worse as some fam­ily mem­bers still re­call the grue­some pho­to­graphs of him ly­ing dead that were cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia.

“He was my only son, and we are aware that there are many other fam­i­lies who are griev­ing and suf­fer­ing the same ex­pe­ri­ences as we are. But we want to high­light the need for per­sons to de­sist from send­ing graphic pic­tures all over so­cial me­dia about ac­ci­dents or tragic in­ci­dents that take place,” said Davy.

She said that it was her duty as a par­ent who has lost a child to ap­peal to the care­less and speed­ing driv­ers on the na­tion’s road­ways.

“It is not ac­cept­able that peo­ple seek to pub­li­cise those pic­tures, send­ing them all over so­cial me­dia. I just want to en­cour­age the pub­lic to de­sist from send­ing pic­tures of this na­ture. It af­fects in a se­ri­ous way the fam­i­lies, friends and com­mu­ni­ties. It would be bet­ter if they showed em­pa­thy in­stead of ad­ver­tis­ing in­ci­dents of this na­ture. It would truly help,” ap­pealed Davy.

Paul Clarke/Gleaner Writer


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