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Road users urged to exercise greater caution

Thursday, November 15, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Ruel Reid, is urging motorists to exercise greater care on the roads in order to prevent accidents and safeguard the lives of citizens.

“We all need (to) be very disciplined (and) organise ourselves properly, so that we don't need to be speeding and can get to our destinations on a timely basis,” he said.

Reid, who was speaking at yesterday's post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, made the appeal against the background of Tuesday's motor vehicle accident in St James, which claimed the lives of three students of the John Rollins Success Primary School in the parish.

He lamented the manner in which some public passenger vehicle operators and private motorists use the roads, which he said often endangers the lives of citizens.

“We ought to be very responsible. We have precious lives… our own lives and the lives of children and other persons… that we are carrying (to protect),” he said.

Reid noted that the Road Traffic Act, which was passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, is being put in place “against the background of us trying to, as a nation, bring greater discipline to how we use the roadways”.

“We are going to appeal to the police to be out there as they have been doing. The Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement Branch (PSTEB) is out there, as well, to monitor this (behaviour), so that there is strong public order and compliance,” he said.

Reid extended condolences on behalf of Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, and the Government of Jamaica to the families, student body and friends and relatives of the victims of Tuesday's accident in St James.

Meanwhile, Press Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Naomi Francis, informed that the Government has been working to influence behaviour change in how persons utilise the roads.

She noted that over the past week, the Government has received assistance from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and international firm, FID, which are partnering with the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), as also the Jamaica National Foundation, to go into schools to help children better understand and exercise safeguards when using the roads.

“A part of that project, too, would be training taxi operators in terms of how they can moderate their behaviour on the nation's streets,” she said.

Francis further noted that during a meeting of the NRSC earlier this month, Holness, who chairs the Council, appealed to all Jamaicans “to ensure that, especially as it comes to the 'silly season' (Christmas), that we take due care on our nation's roads”, she said, adding that “we really have to slow down and be more careful”.

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