Thu | Oct 21, 2021

Steering wheel madness

Published:Friday | June 21, 2019 | 12:40 AM


It is projected that Jamaica is likely to see more than 400 persons killed on the roads by year end. How many will be maimed for life, we don’t really know, but however we take it, the cost is enormous. It is no wonder because the way most of us use the roads, it could be worse. It seems that the calmest and most rational Jamaican is a completely different person once seated in the driver’s seat. Maybe it is a new disease called ‘steering wheel madness’.

Quite often, we see squads of police standing in the shade by the road with devices checking on ‘speed’, issuing useless tickets, which will never be paid, while ignoring other obvious defects such as bad tyres on the vehicles. At the same time, vehicle examiners are seldom seen on the roads checking on those things.

What is worse is that little is done to drivers with those vehicles fitted with blinding headlights at night. Most of these extra lights are illegally fitted to the vehicles and ‘pass’ examination each year.

I get the impression that the National Road Safety Council’s primary function is to give out statistics on accidents and conduct some safety education. These are useful, but their scope should be widened to assist the National Works Agency in providing better signage such as warning signs, lane markings, safety barriers, and pedestrian crossings, especially in school zones, which are woefully inadequate and could assist in alleviating some of the existing unsafe conditions.