Funds Handed over for Crash Database Update
|Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Henry (right), outlines plans for an updated road accidents statistics database, which is to be enhanced with the help of the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA).
Alan Beckford (centre), JAA General Manager and Phillip Bernard, JAA Director were also at the press briefing.
The new Integrated Multimodal Transport Structure which will inform a series of road network upgrades by the Ministry of Transport and Works will not, according to Minister Mike Henry, include the most current information on traffic accidents, due to the absence of upto-date crash statistics.
Nevertheless, the Ministry’s Road Safety Unit will now be able to update the accident statistics,based on a donation of funds from the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP)through the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA).
Over a two-month period that began in September, data for more than 20,000 accidents will be entered into the Road Traffic Accident Database, at the Road Safety Unit. The funds, in the sum of US $5,100.00 from the JAA, will be used to facilitate the administration of the automated system.
According to Alan Beckford, JAA General Manager, “adequate statistics are critical in formulating good road safety policies and methodologies; this donation is symbolic of our larger commitment to upholding and ensuring safety on our roads.”
The Automobile Association, Mr. Beckford comments, was particularly keen in seeking to assist the Road Safety Unit in meeting its obligations under the National Road Safety Policy, which is to provide Jamaicans with quality traffic analysis on a timely basis.
Minister Henry, who expressed thanks to the JAA, restated his commitment to ensuring that existing traffic management measures provided safety for motorists, but underscored the paucity of good statistics to inform further planning.
He said that in August, Tropical Storm Gustav damaged and delayed the repair of several segments of the road network across the island; and it was critical for motorists to drive with due and adequate care to avoid accidents.
“I commend all those involved in the project,” the Minister said, recognising the 15 HEART Trust trainees who are carrying out the data input for the project. Earlier this month, the Road safety Council collaborated with the Office of the Prime Minister to launch Project Save 300 Lives, designed to reduce the high level of traffic deaths.
The JAA, a co-sponsor of the initiative, has outlined key road safety interventions and strategies to be implemented through the private sector, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport and Works.