Tue | Jul 7, 2015

6 minutes of prevention - ICWI puts over half a million into road-safety videos

Published:Sunday | February 3, 2013
Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies (third left) is presented with a road-safety DVD containing six road-safety infomercials by Samantha Samuda (second right) of the Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI), during a handover ceremony held at the ICWI's headquarters in New Kingston, on January 8. Director of the National Road Safety Unit, Kanute Hare (left), Inspector Gary McKenzie of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (second left), and ICWI president, Paul Lalor, participated in the function. - Contributed
Pedestrian safety gets its minute of exclusive focus. - Contributed
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Sheldon Williams, Gleaner Writer

The Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI) has handed over six road-safety infomercials to the the Ministry Of Transport, Works and Housing for broadcast on free-to-air television. Each one-minute infomercial addresses a specific area - speeding, motorcycle safety, overtaking, tailgating, pedestrian safety and general safe driving tips.

The infomercials were produced by the insurance company as a show of goodwill, continuing their unwavering support for road safety in Jamaica. They were officially handed over to the ministry at ICWI's head office. Production costs were over $500,000.

Vice-president of
marketing, distribution and HR at ICWI, Samantha Samuda, explained to
Automotives that, "ICWI, since its inception over 45
years ago, has been dedicated to promoting road safety. When we were
approached by producer Marc Hylton and the Road Safety Unit director,
Kanute Hare, to help with this project, it was an easy decision for us.
The benefits of making these road-safety videos available to the public
are enormous when you consider the number of unnecessary deaths,
accidents and exorbitant cost of medical expenses and motor vehicle
repairs associated with careless driving".

Samuda is
hopeful that the infomercials will increase safety awareness among road
users. "It is our hope that these public-service announcements will help
to raise awareness in the area of road safety by encouraging drivers to
be more diligent when on the roads. It is important for persons to
recognise that while it is nice to be mobile and drive all these 'nice'
cars, there is also responsibility that we all must be aware of - speed
kills and a moving vehicle can be a dangerous weapon if not driven with
care," she said.

Not their first
time

Samuda pointed out that this is not the first
time ICWI is supporting road safety in a tangible way. "ICWI and the
Road Safety Unit (RSU) have partnered in many outdoor events and
promotional activities. The RSU is a staple participant at the company's
annual road-safety check days," Samuda said.

Hare
said, "These infomercials will play a crucial role in the ministry's
quest to provide quality road-safety information to the general public,
thus ensuring that our population is aware of the contemporary
road-safety issues. These infomercials will be displayed in the
electronic media, and all forms of media will be explored in order to
ensure that the road-safety message inoculates the mind, the body, the
soul and the spirit of every Jamaican".

Hare also said
the infomercials will be beneficial to the unit as they strive to
continue reducing road deaths in Jamaica. "These infomercials will be
used as part of the ministry's thrust to ensure Jamaica sustainably
reduces road deaths below 300. The ministry seeks the active
participation of every Jamaican as we seek to ensure our road fatalities
are reduced to 150 by 2020, when the United Nations Decade of Action
for Road Safety ends," Hare said.

Hare is, naturally,
very grateful to the insurance company. "The ICWI has been a very
crucial road-safety stakeholder and has been very supportive of the
ministry's various road-safety initiatives. The ministry profoundly
appreciates the development of these six road-safety infomercials," he
said.

The infomercials will be aired throughout 2013,
allowing the public to familiarise themselves with the road-safety
messages. "These road-safety infomercials will be aired throughout the
year and will be part of the arsenal of road-safety materials that will
be fully utilised by the ministry in order to enlighten our population
regarding the importance of practising proper road etiquette. They are
currently being aired on CVM television and they will also be aired on
Flow Television shortly," Hare
said.