Earl Jarrett, Chairman of the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) has proposed that Jamaica adopt the United Nations (UN) Standards for Motor Vehicles, which include vehicle safety, environmental protection, energy efficiency and theft-resistance as basic standards.
He made the proposal in his keynote address at the official opening ceremony of the two-day Automotive Dealers Association of Jamaica (ADA) Motor Show 2014, at the National Arena on Friday, November 28, 2014.
Mr Jarrett noted that current standards for motor vehicles imported into Jamaica are limited to “having installed seat belts and that the manual should be in English.”
“I, therefore, call on manufacturers who export to Jamaica to only export cars that meet the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) minimum crash standard of adult, child and pedestrian protection and safety assist,” he stated.
The JAA Chairman also implored policy makers and citizens to be extremely careful when considering the importation of crashed vehicles for repair and sale in Jamaica.
“If the vehicles are not road worthy and economically feasible to be fixed in their home countries, I can hardly, understand why it should be any different here in Jamaica, when most of the components will be imported, except for labour,” he further explained.
He noted that, without significant state intervention, these motor vehicles will not meet appropriate standards that will contribute to efforts to improve road safety and reduce road fatalities.
“Jamaica continues to struggle to meet the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) target of Below 240; and at the current rate we can only hope to achieve the old standard of Below 300,” Mr Jarrett pointed out.
And, he commended the efforts of the NRSC and the Ministry of Transport, Works & Housing for its efforts to produce a draft Road Traffic Act, which he said, “would allow law enforcement to be empowered to adequately treat with persons who continue to act with impunity, and that basic element of safe driving such as using tyres that meet international standards for road usage become the norm in Jamaica.”
The bi-annual ADA Motor Show hosted some 16 new-car dealers who displayed 22 motor vehicle brands during the two-day ADA show, November 29 to 30.