Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Editorial: Deaths on motorbikes

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2016 | 2:00 AM

It seems that the increasing decibels with which road-safety officials have been voicing their concerns over the use of Jamaica's roads by motorcyclists have been falling on deaf ears.

Last year, 111 riders of motorcycles died in crashes, a 71 per cent increase on the figure for 2014, whose 65 deaths represented a 16 per cent jump on 2013's. Further, in the five years to the end of last December, 314 motorcyclists were killed in crashes, a 64 per cent increase in the number of deaths for the previous five years.

In percentage terms, motorcyclists are dying at a much faster rate than other victims of vehicle crashes. Up to mid-February, there were 29 victims, a more than 100 per cent leap over the figure for the corresponding time in 2015. This carnage can't be allowed to continue.

The new Parliament, when it is formed, must urgently revive and conclude legislation that demands that motorcyclists be properly trained and licensed as riders, while the police must enforce existing mandatory safety rules, including the wearing of helmets. These crashes are costly not only to the victims, but to the entire society.