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Motorcyclists will require licence under new traffic laws

Published:Sunday | January 24, 2016 | 1:37 PM

As of Friday, motorcyclists will need to have a licence to ride under the new Road Traffic Act. Fines for breaches of the law will also be increased.

Currently, motorcyclists require only a provisional licence. However, that will change with the new legislation which mandates that riders have a drivers' licence.

Vice chairman of the National Road Safety Council, Dr Lucien Jones, believes the new law will help to reduce the high number of fatal crashes involving motorcyclists.

Fatalities among motorcyclists jumped from 65 in 2014 to 111 in 2015. Most of the crashes occurred in Westmoreland and St Elizabeth.

According to Jones, motorcyclists were not wearing helmets in majority of the cases. The incidents in which most of them were involved included collisions with other motor bikes or incidents in which the rider lost control and crashed.

A total of 380 people died in road traffic crashes last year.

Some 100 new traffic cops are to be deployed on Friday to support the implementation of the new Road Traffic Act.