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Police renew appeal to road users following alarming statistics

Published:Wednesday | May 13, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Firefighters survey the mangled remains of a Toyota Yaris motorcar that was involved in an accident that claimed the lives of four persons along the Braco main road in Trelawny on March 1.

Despite regular recommendations given by the police to road users to remain tolerant, cautious and responsible on the road, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is noting that

barely a week goes by without the occurrence of a fatal accident.

"The police are renewing their appeal for motorists and pedestrians to use the road carefully and in accordance with the law, as we are committed to ensuring the safety of all on the nation's streets," stated a release from the JCF's Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) yesterday.

Between January 1 and May 11, 117 fatal traffic crashes occurred which claimed the lives of 129 persons.

During the period, Westmoreland accounted for the most fatalities, 17, followed by Clarendon and St Ann with 12 each.

The police said excessive speeding and drivers failing to keep left continue to top the list of causes for crashes.

"Of note is that drivers failing to keep left is showing a 52 per cent increase when compared to the same period in 2014," the CCU said.

"The statistics also revealed that most fatal crashes occurred between 9 p.m. and midnight, with 18 per cent of fatalities occurring on Saturdays."

In an effort to reduce the number of fatalities, the police have increased their presence and vehicle checkpoints to include speed and spot checks, especially in areas where two or more fatal crashes have occurred.

They are, however, reminding road users that sustained vigilance on their part would have the greatest impact in the bid to reduce road fatalities.

The police are offering the following advice and warnings to all motorists:

n Adjust your speed not only within the speed limit, but also in order to not overestimate your own driving competence and experience. Pay respect to the road specifics and current conditions.

n The use of protective helmets is obligatory, including the pillion rider.

n Safety belts for drivers as well as passengers are obligatory, under the Road Traffic Act.

n Only drive when your physical and mental condition is suitable - alcohol, drugs, psychoactive medicines, psychoactive substances and exhaustion have a significant impact on the safety and reliability of drivers. Be sober and rested when driving or riding.

n In order to avoid traffic congestion due to heavy traffic, car accidents, construction sites on roads and toll stations, always stay updated with the information provided on traffic conditions, and leave home only when you expect to avoid traffic jams. If you cannot avoid congestion, remain patient.