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Rally call for safety

Published:Sunday | December 8, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Duane Ellis, general manager of the Jamaica Automobile Association.
Chris McFarlane (left) and Wayne Piper, participants in Rally Jamaica 2013, show their support for the Jamaica Automobile Association 'Safe Driving Saves Lives' campaign and the Golden Rules of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, during the ceremonial opening of Rally Jamaica on Friday, November 29.
Michelle Laidlaw endorses the Jamaica Automobile Association's 'Safe Driving Saves Lives' campaign.-Contributed photos
Micheal Fennell Jr (left) and John Powell, winner of last year's Rally Jamaica, happily support the Jamaica Automobile Association's 'Safe Driving Saves Lives' campaign and the Golden Rules of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile.
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Drivers endorse 'Safe Driving Saves Lives' campaign

With under a month left in 2013 and road fatalities already surpassing 2012's total of 260, the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) is making a final push for the year to increase motorists' awareness about the importance of safe driving. This is being done through its 'Safe Driving Saves Lives' campaign over the holiday season.

The year-end campaign was launched to coincide with Rally Jamaica 2013 last weekend and is being undertaken in conjunction with the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club (JMMC).

"Speeding remains one of the leading causes of fatal road crashes on the country's roadways, and we believe that increased awareness and advocacy can lead to significant reductions," said Duane Ellis, general manager of the JAA.

FIA Golden rules

The 'Safe Driving Saves Lives' campaign is to be guided by the Ten Golden Rules developed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the governing body for world motorsport. The FIA Golden Rules are the use of seat belts; the correct observance of road codes; obeying the speed limit; regular tyre checks; sober driving; safety of children on roadways; dangers of texting and driving; dangers of driving while drowsy; helmets for motorcyclists, and respect for other road users.

The launch, which took place during the ceremonial start to Rally Jamaica 2013 on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston on Friday, November 29, allowed drivers to show their support for 'Safe Driving Saves Lives', through a series of photo opportunities.

Ellis noted that they "were able to demonstrate their support by wearing caps with the campaign message and placing decals on their motor vehicles, during the rally stages".

reminders and messages

Errol Anderson, vice-chairman of the JMMC, said it is important for persons to receive reminders and messages about road safety, so as to reinforce the national road-safety concerns. "There are inherent dangers if certain safety considerations are not met and persons are not actively thinking about the precautions they need to take while driving," Anderson said.

Last year's rally winner, Michael Fennell Jr, in endorsing the campaign, said that road safety is paramount "whether persons are going to work or school."

"Unfortunately, in Jamaica some of us don't look at road safety enough to just be wary on the roads. We have enough accidents right now," he added.