Drivers have a responsibility to control their Speed – JAA

    JAA
    Recent research conducted by the Mona GeoInformatics Institute, revealed that, speeding was the leading cause of fatal crashes over the period, accounting for nearly 23% of fatal crashes.
    Recent research conducted by the Mona GeoInformatics Institute, revealed that, speeding was the leading cause of fatal crashes over the period, accounting for nearly 23% of fatal crashes.

    Some motorists are accustomed to the warning, ”Speed Kills”, being used as a slogan in some road safety advocacy initiatives; however, while speeding is not the dominant cause of accidents on roads in Jamaica, the practice, along with other factors, can lead to higher frequency of injuries and fatalities.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified speed as a key risk factor in road traffic injuries, influencing both the risk of road traffic crashes, and the severity of injuries.

    According to results of recent research conducted by the Mona GeoInformatics Institute, which included, detailed crash analysis in Jamaica between the years 2000 and 2010, of more than 70,000 crash data points, it was revealed that, “speeding was the leading cause of fatal crashes over the period, accounting for nearly 23% of fatal crashes.”

    Duane Ellis, General Manager of the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA), says when motoristsdrive at excessive speeds, with no regard for road conditions, “they put themselves, pedestrians and other road users at greater risk of injury and death in the event an accident occurs.”

    Mr. Ellis acknowledged that while the Government and other road safety stakeholders continue to work to create and implement speed management initiatives, motorists can also play their part to reduce their driving speed and prevent crashes.

    He said that, “drivers can take simple steps towards reducing their speed, such as paying close attention to their speedometer, while still carefully watching the road,” and noted that, “these checks will allow drivers to be constantly aware of just how fast they are going.”

    Another tip is to drive even eight kilometers per hour (kmph) below the speed limit to keep your speed in check.  “This will not significantly decrease your travel time and it will reduce the chances of the driver accidentally going over the speed limit,” he pointed out.

    Mr. Ellis advised that drivers can use the cruise control option, which is available in some vehicles; as it will automatically maintain the current speed that is set to help curb the desire to drive faster. Motorists can also prevent the need to speed by simply leaving for their destination earlier so they do not need to  rush.

    “When motorists do decide to speed, they must ensure that they are not endangering pedestrians, or other drivers; and that, road conditions are suitable and free of hazards,” Mr. Ellis added.

    Currently the speed limit on Jamaican roads is 50 kmph in built-up areas and 80 kmph on highways.

     

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