Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Deadly motorcycles - Culture change in Westmoreland needed to tackle motorcycle-related road fatalities, says road safety official

Published:Saturday | November 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
Motorcyclists have accounted for the most road fatalities for the past two years - Road Safety Unit

The Latest national statistics reveal that motorcyclists account for almost 25 per cent of road fatalities since the start of the year, with Westmoreland once again heading the list with 20 deaths.

Kenute Hare, director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Mining, said that the thinking adopted by some individuals may explain the high frequency of road fatalities in the parish.

"We are picking up fatalistic notions where they believe that 'man born fi dead by traffic crash can't dead by gunshot'. The whole matter of, what I would say, love for life, we find that missing from quite a bit of persons," Hare said.

"That's something we have to work on to let them love themselves more and to see themselves in a much more positive light and playing a significant role in the development."

He added, "There are some of them who believe that if you dead by crash, a no nothing. Some will tell you they don't wear the helmet because if they do, girls not going to see them."

 

NOT WEARING HELMETS

 

According to the director, motorcyclists have accounted for the most road fatalities for the past two years. He also said that the underutilisation of safety gear is still a problem.

"They (motorcyclists) have been the most killed road users since 2015, most of whom died in Westmoreland, and their behaviour on the road network is what's causing this problem. They are not wearing their helmets as much as we would like them to. Safety gear is often missing from them," Hare said, noting that no bike taxis in the parish had been involved in collisions.

With the new Road Traffic Act 2018 now before the Senate, Hare said that the enforcement of the legislation by the relevant authorities is paramount.

"We have to do a better job at enforcing the law than ever before, and critical in all of this is the fact that we have to show more respect and more regard for how we as individuals operate on the network to avoid being prosecuted," he said.

Since the start of the year, 317 people have been killed as a result of road crashes.

nickoy.wilson@gleanerjm.com