Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Save the children - Road Safety Unit calls for clampdown on parents as child fatalities climb

Published:Saturday | December 17, 2016 | 12:00 AMSherine Williams
A motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Beeston and Hanover street in June.

With 25 children already killed on the nation's roads, the Road Safety Unit is projecting that child fatalities from road crashes will increase by at least 92 per cent at the end of 2016 compared with last year.

At the end of 2015, only 12 children died from road crashes.

Director of the Road Safety Unit Kenute Hare said many of the children killed were not wearing seat belts.

He is calling for the police to clamp down on parents who transport their children without seat belts.

"We would love to see the police launching 'Operation Child Safety', targeting parents who continue to have their children roaming around on the back seats of motor vehicles with heads and hands outside. We appeal to parents to stop it, and we want them to know that they can be prosecuted not only under the Road Traffic Act but also under the Child Care and Protection Act," Hare said.

The Road Safety Unity said the 25 children killed in road crashes so far this year represent a 108 per cent increase when compared to the similar period, last year.

The latest statistics show that the majority of the children killed so far fall in the 15-17 age group.

The statistics also show that almost half the number of child victims were passengers in private motor cars.

In the meantime, the unit says 357 persons have been killed in crashes since the start of the year.

Westmoreland, St Catherine, St Elizabeth and St Andrew account for 54 per cent of the fatalities.

The Road Safety Unit said 88 motorcyclists have been killed in 81 collisions, with 36 per cent of the fatalities occurring in the parish of Westmoreland.

sherine.williams@gleanerjm.com