The Jamaica National Building Society (JN) Foundation and the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) have again partnered with Traffic Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to implement the “Police in Schools” programme, which brings road safety guidelines to primary school students across the county.
The programme includes an interactive road safety demonstration, using scaled road furniture, for students to practise crossing the road safely; and, a video specially developed to teach children the rules which govern both pedestrians and motorists on the road.
Speaking at the recent session at the Mavisville Preparatory School in Vineyard Town, Carey Lue-Pann, project manager of the JN Foundation Road Safety Programme, noted that partnering with the JCF in this way was part of the Foundation’s objective of supporting community development through education.
“The statistics on road crash fatalities show that ignorance of the rules of the road, and failure to respect other road users, are key causes for the increasing number of road fatalities,” he explained.
And, he pointed out, “The JN Foundation’s objective is to teach children this critical life skill, which hopefully they will apply now, as pedestrians, and later, as motorists.”
Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, who heads the JCF’s Traffic Division, decried the high number of fatalities resulting from crashes. “These crashes take a huge financial toll on our country,” he lamented.
“Families are reduced to poverty as breadwinners die, or are left with permanent disabilities. The emotional trauma is also significant,” he related.
The “Police in Schools’” programme is expected to visit 60 schools in six parishes during this academic year. Since its inception in 1984, almost one million students have benefited from the programme.
In addition to its partnership with the JCF at the primary level, the JN Foundation’s Road Safety Programme includes the JAA Junior Clubs at the secondary level. These are extra-curricular clubs operated by students, who initiate projects geared to increase their awareness of road safety issues, and creatively propose solutions.
Another foundation project, the community-based “First Responders’” programme, to encourage volunteers to support emergency care personnel in their response at road crash sites, is to be launched soon.