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Projections point to increase in road fatalities next year

Jamaica Gleaner / While it is projected that road fatalities for 2017 will decrease by 10 per cent when compared with 2016, Kenute Hare, director of the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport, is describing as “worrying” other projections that indicate that there will be an increase in 2018.

Hare’s comments came along with a report tabled by the unit, released yesterday, which shows that 316 persons were killed by road accidents between January and December 27.

The director has urged motorists to not only reduce their speed, but also obey road rules.

“Look out for vulnerable road users. Never overtake on a bend or at a junction or unnecessarily. Never drive in a manner that will prove offensive to other road users,” Hare cautioned.

He continued: “Always use your seat belts. Ensure passengers in the vehicle utilise them as well and children are securely fastened in the correct protective devices. We cannot afford to lose anyone else in 2017. Slow down and save lives. Remember to drive for the family.”

Statistics contained in the report show that men continue to significantly outnumber women in terms of road deaths, with 268 males killed compared to 48 females as at December 27.

Males account for 85 per cent of the 316 road deaths caused by 289 fatal accidents since the start of the year.

This month has seen 24 road fatalities in 27 days, with May (37) and July (40) boasting the highest numbers so far.

Overall, motorcyclists (29 per cent) and pedestrians (27 per cent) are the two groups of road users that account for the most deaths, while private motor vehicle passengers, at 11 per cent, account for the least.

Fifteen per cent of the overall fatalities occurred in Westmoreland, while St Catherine, St Andrew, St Ann, and Westmoreland accounted for 50 per cent of the overall fatalities.

The report also shows that seniors, persons 60 years and over, accounted for 13 per cent of persons killed this year, with 40 deaths so far.

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