Tue | Jul 7, 2020

Motorists warned as road deaths top 100

Published:Thursday | March 31, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross

Senior Superintendent of Police Calvin Allen, head of the Traffic Division, is blaming excessive speeding, improper overtaking, and the inability of drivers to keep to the left in their correct lanes for the majority of the 103 deaths that have occurred on the roads since the start of the year.

"Inappropriate use of the road zeroes in on three things: excessive speeding, improper overtaking, and drivers failing to keep left or near side," Allen told The Gleaner.

"Those three are three of the main causes of most fatal crashes. I can tell you that since the start of January 2016, we have prosecuted almost 101,000 breaches of the Road Traffic Act."

He added: "Persons are being prosecuted for improper overtaking; persons are being prosecuted from a road safety perspective for not wearing their seat belt or protective helmet as it relates to motorcycle drivers."

Behaviour change needed

Allen said he believed the behavioural patterns displayed by road users while using the roads need to be adjusted.

"I always emphasise that driving is a full-time job. Absolutely nothing else should occupy your time and attention while you are driving. Over 90 per cent of our crashes are due to human error," he said.

"We have no doubt that some of our accidents result from some sort of distraction, whether persons are using their cell phone; some people may be reading their tablet. We have seen some of our females driving, and while driving, (they are) applying make-up."

Use safety features

He emphasised the importance of properly using safety features and tools that come with vehicles.

"I always say that your mirrors are like your lawyers. They advise you what to do. Use your mirrors wisely. The gadgets that come with your vehicle are for you to use in road safety endeavours," he said.

"The horn of the vehicle (is) crucial, not just there to toot a friend. It is there to alert your fellow motorists and pedestrians on the roads as to your presence. I don't think we use our gadgets as effectively as we ought to use them. I believe that if we use these gadgets in an effective way, it would have prevented some crashes."