With just under one month left on the calendar for year 2013, and with road fatalities already surpassing the figure of 260 in 2012, the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) will be making a final push to increase the awareness of motorists about the importance of safe driving, through its “Safe Driving Saves Lives” campaign, during the Holiday Season.
The year-end campaign was launched to coincide with Rally Jamaica 2013 and is being undertaken in conjunction with the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club (JMMC). Rally stages were held from Saturday, December 1 at the Lydford Mines Factory in St Ann and were followed by stages at the Tru Juice Sports Club in Bog Walk, St Catherine.
“Speeding remains one of the leading causes of fatal road crashes on the country’s road ways, and we believe that increased awareness and advocacy can lead to significant reductions,” said Duane Ellis, General Manager of the JAA.
The “Safe Driving Saves Lives” campaign is be guided by the Ten Golden Rules developed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for world motor sport.
“We believe that the ten core principles, which make up the golden rules, covers the diverse road safety concerns that our drivers in Jamaica, and other road users need to appreciate, in order to be safe,” Mr Ellis explained.
The launch which took place during the ceremonial start to Rally Jamaica 2013 on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston on Friday, November 29, allowed drivers to show their support for the “Safe Driving Saves Lives” campaign, through a series of photo opportunities.
Mr. Ellis noted, that “Drivers and officials participating in the rally stages were able to demonstrate their support by wearing caps with the campaign message and placing decals on their motor vehicles, during the Rally stages.”
Errol Anderson, Vice Chairman of the JMMC, says that it is important for persons to receive reminders and messages about road safety, so as to reinforce the national road safety concerns.
“There are inherent dangers if certain safety considerations are not met, and persons are not actively thinking about the precautions they need to take while driving,” Mr Anderson said.
Last year’s rally winner, Michael Fennell Jr in endorsing the campaign, said that road safety is paramount to “whether persons are going to work or school.”
“Unfortunately in Jamaica some of us don’t look at Road Safety good enough to just beware on the roads, we have enough accidents right now,” he added.
The FIA Golden rules include–the use of seat belts; the correct observance of road codes; obeying the speed limit; regular tyre checks; sober driving; safety of children on roadways; dangers of texting and driving; dangers of driving while drowsy; helmets for motorcyclists and respect for other road users.
Rally Jamaica is the second longest running International Rally in the Caribbean, and one of the region’s biggest annual motorsport events.