Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed concern about the continued rise in road fatalities, despite efforts to combat the problem of accidents and poor road usage.
He pointed out that up to November 15, 370 Jamaicans have been killed in 339 fatal crashes, compared to last year’s figure of 328 fatalities, out of 290 crashes.
In expressing sadness on this trajectory, he noted that, this year, Jamaica is likely to exceed the figures for both death, and injuries, recorded in 2018.
Holness said despite the gains of the past which currently reflects stability in 8 of the 10 road user categories, the government remains concerned at the high number of fatalities.
In particular motorcyclists and pedestrians account for increases of 37 % and 23 % respectively, over 2018.
He said that for the upcoming Christmas season there is the usual appeal for drivers to reduce speed and for the police to increase presence and speed control.
The Prime Minister cited studies which indicate that a 5 % reduction in average speed can lead to a 30 % reduction in average fatalities.
This he said is significant in the context of the reality of over 400 deaths facing the country for 2019.
He noted that for 2020, if drivers comply, the result would be a 30 % reduction, translating in fewer than 300 deaths next year.
The Prime Minister’s concerns were expressed in a message, for today’s observance of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, delivered on his behalf by Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, at the church service held at the St. Andrew’s Scotskirk United Church.