Letter of the Day | Arresting road fatalities
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Even though there are fewer crashes, road fatalities continue to rise above last year's figures. The resultant economic cost to government and relatives is huge; dependent relatives frequently experience reversals in fortunes. Despite ticketing, prosecution, and suspension of licences, the numbers continue to increase. Improvements of physical conditions of roadways, though necessary, result in increased speeding and crashes. It is impossible to have a reduction in crashes and fatalities without a change in attitude and behaviour on the part of drivers.
A proposal for teaching students in school to drive is of utmost importance, but will it reduce crashes? It appears that most of those involved in crashes are competent and skilled drivers. Training is perhaps the best tool available for changing human behaviour and attitude.
All applicants for passenger vehicle licences desiring to transport the nation's most valuable resources should undergo a course of training, at their expense, to be qualified for the job. Training should be based on information garnered from a profile study of drivers involved in avoidable crashes.
Perhaps classes should be held for two hours each day for a month. A time most convenient to all participants involved in this training exercise should be established. Attendance of applicants will give an indication of the discipline or lack thereof of these drivers.
Trainers should impress upon applicants to be mindful of the fact that they are transporting Jamaica's most valuable resource, and as such, they should drive accordingly.
Training is a tool used extensively by corporations across the global village to effect behavioural and attitudinal changes in their human resources. Jamaica should not hesitate to use this tool.