Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Senseless speed limit on new highway

Published:Wednesday | April 27, 2016 | 12:00 AM


I wish to refer to the excellent article written by your columnist Dr Garth Rattray on April 4, 2016 titled 'Critiquing the new highway'. About 1993 while attending the Pan American Games, I was impressed with the highway from east to west through the mountains of Puerto Rico. My comment then was, will I live long enough to see such a highway in Jamaica. I am indeed pleased to see we have made progress in that regard.

My two main disappointments, however, are the cost to use the road and the 80km/h (50mph) speed limit.

It is accepted that it cost a fortune to build, but shouldn't the idea be to stimulate use by making the user fee attractive? There are many persons who find accommodation in Kingston and St. Andrew expensive and would like to move out and commute daily to work. The highway would provide this benefit and further development to the economy. Will this now happen that the toll is so high?

If the authorities do not act, the market will make the determination, and much revenue will be lost. The categories of vehicles should be determined by the wheels or axles. Thus all four-wheel vehicles should be in the same category.

A speed limit of 80km/h makes no sense unless the intention is to collect further revenue by having the police lurking around corners to trap unsuspecting motorist. What causes accidents is careless and dangerous driving without due regard for the use and condition of the road.

The Kingston to May Pen highway allows for 110km/h, so I see no good reason why the new North to South Highway should not be the same. Where the road is steep, the speed could be controlled.