Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Jarrett urges UN standards for Ja

Published:Sunday | December 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM
A tyre in good condition. The new Road Traffic Act will stipulate stricter standards for tyres fitted on motor vehicles.
Old tyres in varying stages of wear.-File

Earl Jarrett, chairman of the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA), has proposed that Jamaica adopt the United Nations (UN) standards for motor vehicles. These include vehicle safety, environmental protection, energy efficiency and theft-resistance as basic standards.

He made the proposal in his keynote address at the official opening ceremony of the two-day Automotive Dealers Association of Jamaica (ADA) Motor Show 2014, held at the National Arena on Friday, November 28.

Jarrett noted that current standards for motor vehicles imported into Jamaica are limited to "having installed seat-belts and that the manual should be in English".

"I, therefore, call on manufacturers who export to Jamaica to only export cars that meet the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) minimum crash standard of adult, child and pedestrian protection and safety assist," he stated.

The JAA chairman also implored policymakers and citizens to be extremely careful when considering the importation of crashed vehicles for repair and sale in Jamaica.

Local repairs

"If the vehicles are not roadworthy and economically feasible to be fixed in their home countries, I can hardly understand why it should be any different here in Jamaica when most of the components will be imported, except for labour," he further explained.

He noted that without significant state intervention, these motor vehicles will not meet appropriate standards that will contribute to efforts to improve road safety and reduce road fatalities in Jamaica.

"Jamaica continues to struggle to meet the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) target of Below 240 and, at the current rate, we can only hope to achieve the old standard of below 300," Jarrett pointed out.

And he commended the NRSC and the Ministry of Transport, Works & Housing for their efforts to produce a draft Road Traffic Act, which he said, "would allow law enforcement to be empowered to adequately treat with persons who continue to act with impunity, and that basic element of safe driving such as using tyres that meet international standards for road usage become the norm in Jamaica".

This year's staging of the the biennial ADA Motor ran from November 28 to 30.

Contributed PHOTOS

Dr Lucien Jones (left), vice-chairman/convenor of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC); Dr Morais Guy (second right), minister without portfolio, Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing; and Earl Jarrett, chairman of the Jamaica Automobile Association, with the graphic of the NRSC's road fatality target at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, last March.

Earl Jarrett, chairman, Jamaica Automobile Association, speaks at the official launch of the ADA Motor Show 2014 at the National Arena, on Friday, November 28.