Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Endangered males! - 30 per cent decline in road accidents but fatalities involving men climb

Published:Tuesday | March 14, 2017 | 3:00 AMPaul Clarke
So far this year, 56 persons have been killed in road accidents when compared to the 85 persons killed for the same period in 2016.
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Even with road fatalities trending downwards by more than 30 per cent since the start of the year when compared to the same period in 2016, male drivers continue to be at the greatest risk.

Hence, the main focus of new strategies to be implemented by the Road Safety Unit (RSU) in the Ministry of Transport is geared towards men, with a view to put a further dent in the number of males killed in crashes on the island's roads.

Last year, 79 men and six women drivers have been killed in road crashes year-to-date, and so far, for the same period this year, death of male drivers is outpacing the females by 48-8 - men representing 86 per cent of road users killed. Motorcyclists lead the carnage on the nation's roads, according to statistics from the Road Safety Unit.

"It is in this vein that we are appealing to our male drivers to reacquaint themselves with the road code and practise the principles, including defensive driving techniques, in order to make the roadways safer," said the director for the Road Safety Unit, Kenute Hare.

To date, 56 persons have died on the road - 17 were motorcyclists, 18 pedestrians, 12 drivers of private motor vehicles, four pedal cyclists, two passengers in private motor vehicles, one pillion, and two drivers of commercial vehicles.

Even so, the RSU is projecting an overall decrease in fatalities for the year when stacked up against the 85 persons killed for the same period in 2016.

According to the data, there was a 24 and 34 per cent drop in fatal crashes and fatalities, respectively, since the beginning of the year when compared to the same period last year.

"This decrease is very encouraging, but it is not for applause, as one life lost is one too many," Hare said, adding that the efforts going into educating the driving public on the proper use of the roads were ongoing and continued to bear fruit.

Of note, the parishes of Westmoreland, Clarendon, and St Catherine account for 45 per cent of the overall fatalities.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com