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Friday, March 02, 2018

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ACTING Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Courtney Coubrie, incoming commanding officer at the Traffic and Highway Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), said he is aiming for a reduction in road fatalities and a return to public order in the country.

Coubrie yesterday assumed the reins of the JCF's Traffic Division from SSP Calvin Allen, who had served in that capacity since September 2014.

“Firstly, let me laud the work SSP Allen and team has done. But I will continue the work that SSP Allen has done as well as reintroduce some initiatives,” he told Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine yesterday.

According to figures from the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport, the death toll stood at 53 yesterday; one fewer than last year. A total of 321 people died as a result of crashes in 2017, compared to 379 the year before.

He said crash hotstops are of a critical concern and he intends to set up camp in those areas.

“In the past, we have visited geographic divisions, especially those on our radar where fatal collisions occur. We will be at those areas with the support of other agencies, including certifying officers and the transport office personnel... we'll be carrying out widespread operations across the length and breadth of Jamaica,” he said.

He also urged that motorists obey traffic signals, such as red lights and stop signs.

“We will be setting up teams which will be treating with these sort of infractions, and the offenders will not know this. Cameras have been set up at some intersections to treat with public disorder and this will have multiple uses... So persons who disobey the traffic lights, persons who disobey the stop line, and persons who are involved in criminal activity — all of that will be captured,” he said. “The roads will be safer and people will appreciate what is being done.”

Coubrie said a two-week-old initiative of beefing up critical intersections with police personnel has been paying dividends.

“As you move around the Corporate Area you will see police personnel being posted at some major intersections; intersections you would have gridlock and bottlenecks. What you see playing out is the wisdom of the high command... some non-geographic divisions were identified and they are now playing a crucial role in supporting the traffic division in being in those areas. Having them you'll realise the traffic is flowing much freer; the intersections are not blocked and the motorists are very pleased with this new development. It will continue and we will be looking at other areas that need this attention.

“In addition to that, these police personnel placed at these intersections, they're not only there to ensure that traffic flows smoothly; we have been running training courses and bringing them up to speed on how to issue traffic tickets to motorists... So they will be treating with enforcement as well... Only last week, scores of tickets were issued at Six Miles and Spanish Town Road,” he said.

From St Mary, Coubrie attended Richmond Secondary School in the parish. He enlisted in the JCF at 18, and this year will be celebrate his 40th anniversary in the service.

ACP Allen commended Coubrie on his promotion and said the division is in good hands.

“The Traffic Division is being led by an individual who possesses the skills and competence to take it even to a higher level,” said Allen.

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