Parents urged not to send children on road alone
Published: Friday | March 20, 2009
Warden Stephen Williams explains to students that the correct way to cross the street is by using the pedestrian crossing, in Spanish Town, St Catherine, in this Gleaner file photo. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Parents and guardians are being urged not to send young children alone on the streets, as they tend to possess psychological and physiological limitations in facing road situations and will require the presence of an adult to make informed decisions.
In an interview with JIS News, Director of the Road Safety Unit, Kenute Hare, pointed out that in the March 2009 Crash Report of the Unit, six children have died in road accidents since the start of the year. All six were pedestrians.
The Director noted that in most of the crashes reported, the children were not protected by adults.
"We are extremely concerned about the vulnerability of our children in the traffic environment, particularly those who have to walk on the roadways," he said.
"Where you have situations where a child under four is left to bolt across the road and is hit, this is a serious concern. Let us ensure that our children are protected in the traffic environment. Let us not send them out there on their own in the environment," he urged.
He also appealed to parents to refrain from exposing their children to unnecessary danger, through unsafe practices, such as placing children in the front seat of vehicles. This, he noted, is potentially dangerous, as there is the possibility that the air bag may inflate and suffocate the child. He also emphasised the need for proper seatbelt usage.
He pointed to the need for parents to purchase helmets with the bicycles they give to their children, as they seek to ensure that they have all the safety gadgets that will allow their children to survive in Jamaica's traffic environment.