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Debate to continue on new Road Traffic Act early 2017

Published:Wednesday | December 28, 2016 | 12:01 AM

Debate is set to continue on the bill to introduce a new Road Traffic Act early next year as Jamaica seeks stronger legislation to curb its high road fatality figures.

Nearly 800 lives have been lost on the nation's roadways in the past 24 years, with road fatalities in Jamaica averaging some 366 deaths annually. 

So far this year, about 310 people have died in road traffic crashes, which is 72 fewer than in 2015.  

Nearly half of those killed or 157, are between 20 and 39 years old.

One hundred and thirty-two of the people in that age group were males and 25 were females.

The proposed Road Traffic Act has been in discussion for several years and seeks to, among other things, introduce strict penalties for the use of hand-held electronic communication devices when driving.

Harsh penalties are also to be imposed on motorists driving with loud music.

Body protrusion will also attract penalties in the amended regulations.