Alan Beckford, Manager of the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA), a subsidiary of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), will be one of the main presenters at a working conference of the Federation Internationale De L’Automobile (FIA), to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, May 28 through June 1.
He was specially invited by FIA to update the International Association about the development of the Automobile Association in Jamaica and to highlight recent initiatives in the country’s road safety programmes.
“We welcome this continuing involvement with FIA,” Mr. Beckford stated, yesterday (May 20), “as it provides our local Association with a wide range of international linkages to pursue critical road safety projects along with national organizations; to garner specific automobile services for JAA members travelling overseas; as well as, to lobby international and local administrations to make roads safe.
He said that the working meeting will also provide an opportunity to promote Jamaica as a tourist destination, given FIA’s involvement in travel and tourism. “The cross section of participants from Automobile Clubs, who will be in attendance, represent more than 100 million members,” he emphasized.
On the local side of the Association’s member services, Mr. Beckford pointed out that in recent months the JAA has steadily increased its “roadside assistance” services; and was providing timely and efficient responses to distress calls from motorists for repairs and wrecker services.
“We have seen a significant increase in our response rate, as we move to make motorists in distress more confident when they call our Member Care Centre for assistance,” he pointed out.
The JAA was instrumental in launching the UN “Make Road Safe” petition at the recent Global Road Safety Week, which was celebrated in Jamaica and countries around the world, in the latter part of April. The petition was signed by the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister; the Hon. Robert Pickersgill, Minister of Housing, Transportation and Water; and a cross section of stakeholders in the road safety sector.
One week later, members of the public were invited to sign the petition at the Global Road Safety Expo, which was held at Emancipation Park, on May 3.
“To date, some 2,000 Jamaicans have signed the petition, and we are calling on more people to support this UN resolution for the building of safe roads,” Mr. Beckford said, pointing out that “some of the Reggae Boyz, members of the national football team, signed the petition last week.”
In addition, the JAA was instrumental in presenting the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) with a fully equipped Road Safety Truck, in concert with the JNBS, to enhance the JCF’s public education programme about road safety, for schools. The presentation of the truck was made at the Osborne Store Primary and All-Age Schools, on May 11.