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No txt, pls - Liguanea Kiwanians put up safety signs

Published:Sunday | November 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM
A motorist uses a cell phone to text while driving. - Contributed
Kiwanians recently put up signs (above) as part of their latest campaign for road safety, dubbed PLS DNT TXT N DRV.
Kiwanians recently put up signs (above) as part of their latest campaign for road safety, dubbed PLS DNT TXT N DRV.
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Chad Bryan, Staff Reporter

The Kiwanis Club of Liguanea in St Andrew is renewing its call for road safety with a public-education campaign that targets motorists who use their cell phones to text while driving.

The campaign, costing a little more than $5 million, which is dubbed 'PLS DNT TXT N DRV', began on September 7. It replaces the club's previous road safety campaign, 'Safety First, Buckle Up'.

"In this campaign, we propose to erect 210 road signs across the island with the message PLS DNT TXT N DRV and the Kiwanis logo. We want to distribute 20,000 bumper stickers and flyers with the help of our Key Club members and Circle-Kers, carrying the same message all throughout the island. Signs will be strategically placed in all parish capitals and in every town where there is a police station," said the club's president, Andrew Foster.

The first phase of the campaign targets Kingston and St Andrew with the erection of 30 signs. To date, four signs have been placed in the Corporate Area in the following locations: Mary Brown's Corner, Constant Spring Road (just below Manor Park), Old Hope Road (by the Hope Pastures intersection) and Mona Road (by the Mona Aqueduct), Foster said.

Information provided by the Kiwanis Club of Liguanea said texting while driving is six times more likely to cause a crash than driving intoxicated. It is also said to be the number one driving distraction reported by teenagers.

Earlier this week, executive director of the National Road Safety Council, Paula Fletcher, pointed out that texting while driving is one of the causes of motor vehicle crashes here in Jamaica.

"The police tell us that there is a lot of drifting out of lanes because persons are on their cell phones, either texting or speaking," she said. While she does not foresee a total ban, Fletcher expects there will be a compromise, allowing the use of hands-free devices.

The Kiwanis Club of Liguanea believes the project is timely, given recent trends in government policy.