Sun | Mar 29, 2020

Needed: Refresher courses for drivers - Survivor of deadly collision proposes measure to reduce road accidents

Published:Tuesday | January 1, 2019 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson/Staff Reporter
A policeman at the scene of one of the many fatal accidents across the island last year.

A motorist who survived a crash, which left two persons dead last year, is calling for new legislation to require mandatory periodic refresher courses for drivers.

The motorist, whose name is being withheld as the deadly crash is still being investigated, says there is need to regularly remind persons of the rules of the road.

"I don't care if you have been driving for 100 years, there has to be a way for people to understand the dangers on the road and how to avoid certain things. Drinking and driving is included," said the motorist, who was almost brought to tears as he recalled the crash.

"It shook me up wicked, man. If I never go the psychiatrist, right now, I probably wouldn't even be here. Probably I would have lost my mind already," said the father of two boys.

"I want to tell everybody who drinks and drives not to do it because it just doesn't make any sense," added the motorist, whose vehicle slammed into another vehicle on the Discovery Bay main road in St Ann.

He emerged unhurt from the accident but was devastated by the sight of the bodies of two men in the other vehicle who were killed on impact.

According to the motorist, persons who turned up at the scene claimed that the two men had been drinking all day at a nearby bar before they hopped into the vehicle and left the location.

He said that since the accident, his mind constantly replays the final seconds of the collision, and with the help of the psychiatrist, he is slowly accepting that there is nothing he could have done to prevent it.


NRSC vice-chairman backs refresher course call


Dr Lucien Jones, vice-chairman of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), has backed a call by a motorists who survived a collision that left two people dead last year for refresher courses for drivers.

"There is no legal refresher course at this time, but it is a discussion we have had as to whether or not when you are renewing your driver's licence, you should undergo some kind of refresher course. But it is not in law," Jones told The Gleaner.

He argued that at a minimum, a refresher course should be done every five years.

A new Road Traffic Act is slated to become law early this year, and while it does not include provisions for refresher courses, Jones said that the Government would be looking to roll out other measures aimed at bolstering discipline on the roads.

The final death toll of the nation's streets for last year is expected to be released today, but up to yesterday, 375 persons had died in 332 fatal crashes on the nation's streets, a 16 per cent increase in fatalities when compared to 2017.

Thirty-four persons died on the nation's roads in December alone.