18 killed in road crashes in one week
Sheldon Williams, Staff Reporter
The failure of motorists to remain in their lanes has been identified as the main contributor to the deaths of 18 persons in road crashes between Thursday, August 28, and Wednesday, September 3.
Director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Kenute Hare, revealed that 202 persons had been killed in traffic accidents as at August 28.
The number has since skyrocketed to 220 with the 18 deaths recorded over the following seven days.
"Eleven of the 18 were killed in August, and seven have already been killed in September," Hare said.
"The condition of the roads played no part in the deaths of these persons," he insisted. "I must say, personally, I am fretting. I am begging all the drivers, pedal cyclists, and pedestrians to [use the roads] safely," he implored.
Statistics from the Road Safety Unit revealed that failure to keep traffic lane accounted for six crashes and seven deaths. Speeding caused two crashes and four deaths. Improper overtaking resulted in one crash and two deaths. Pedestrian error resulted in two crashes and two deaths. And there were two hit-and-run accidents that resulted in two deaths.
Dr Lucien Jones, vice-chairman of the National Road Safety Council, conceded that the recent spike in road deaths would compromise the council's aim to maintain deaths below 240 for this year.
"In terms of our target for the year, which is below 240 [deaths], that is under serious jeopardy because we are now at 220, so that will not be met," he said. "But what we are doing is to return to our previous target in 2012, when we went below 300."