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Accident Information and Research

The Unit secures and analyzes accident data collected by the policy. The analysis pulls on how, when and where traffic accidents occur as well as who is involved. Research programmes are advanced to determine demographics and psycho-social behaviour of road users as well as, to inform campaigns, policy, law enforcement, engineering and other corrective measures. Research programmes are also executed to determine the effectiveness of measures implemented.

Legislation

The Road Safety Unit influences the amendments and revision of the Road Traffic Act and Regulations through its membership on the Road Traffic Legislation Revision Committee instituted within the Ministry of Housing, Transport, Water and Works. As a prominent advocate of and stake holder in, road safety, the Unit chairs special sub-committees established to consider specific legislations or regulatory frameworks air marked for evaluation and revision, and makes necessary recommendations to the committee. The Unit constituted the secretariat of the committee mandated to prepare a Green Paper to facilitate the drafting of the Protective Devices legislation of 1999.

Education in Schools

The Road Safety Unit visits schools across the island. The target group for presentations are children grades 1- 6, 6 to 12 years old. These presentations cover pedestrian safety and relate briefly to how to be safe motorists and passengers. In 2002 the Swedish government again partnered with the Unit to develop road safety text books to be used in schools. These books were published and distributed to children in grades 2-3 in Primary Schools Island wide. The texts are to be reviewed by the Ministry of Education which has incorporated Road Safety Education in the schools’ syllabus.

Public Information

The Unit engages in several activities throughout the year, designed to educated and inform the general public about road safety issues:-

Community Outreach

The Unit goes into communities on a weekly basis carrying out presentations and demonstration. Often this is done by participating in activities staged by various community based groups, such as youth clubs, the Social Development Commission (SDC) service clubs along with local enterprises. Annual events included in this activity are Children’s Expo, Denbigh Agricultural Show, Windalco Health and Safety Expo and the National Health Fund fairs.

On-The-Road Promotions

This activity entails the promotion of particular aspects of road safety in specific locations. The locations and focus are determined by statistics and observed behaviour and incidents. The Unit may for example, hand out leaflets on obeying road markings at an intersection where there are regular blocking and positioning infringements. Distribution of road safety literature is also done from plazas, gas stations etc.

Mass Media Campaigns

The Unit also undertakes campaigns aimed at reaching large audiences and have implemented several mass media campaigns since its inception including the following:-

Protective Devices Campaign July 1999

National Protective Helmet Awareness Day June 2001

Focus and Objective
The welcome furor among motor cyclists that accompanied legislation for the mandatory usage of protective helmets had waned significantly, leaving in its place an unsatisfactory level of compliance and a disregard for enforcement efforts by the relevant bodies. Despite public education programmes which preceded and followed the legislation, and even with the wide latitude in terms of time given for acquisition of the requisite helmet, bareheaded riders and pillions are a constant feature on our roads. In some instances the wearing of hard hats and totally unsuitable helmets, speaks to either the ignorance of such persons or their disregard for the letter of the law.

The Unit therefore, set out to address the problem by focussing attention on safety issues relative to the use of motorcycle helmets with a view to increase compliance and enforcement.

Audience
The target audience was naturally, motorcyclists

Message
Messages were designed to encourage compliance to the requirements of the protective devices legislation and the composition of a safe, and approved helmet

Activities & Schedule
Public Service Announcements
The campaign began with advertisements and endorsement on television, radio and in the Newspapers from May 2001.
Distribution of Literature

National Protective Helmet Awareness Day

The Day began with a ceremony in which the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, the Hon Ben Clare launched the activities. This took place at the Police Officers club and was followed by an exposition of motorcycle equipment. Several motor cycle dealers were present displaying the latest in motor cycles and motor cycle accessories. Presentations were made by personnel form the Bureau of Standards, the Ministry of Health and the Police Traffic Division. There was Islandwide spot checks carried out by the Jamaica Constabulary Force working in collaboration with officers from the Island Traffic Authority.

Child Pedestrian Campaign 2002

Focus and Objective
It was noted that on an average, three children are killed on our nation’s streets each month. That intolerably high fatality figure was reflected in statistics compiled by the police traffic division and analyzed by the Road Safety Unit. Child pedestrians represented the most vulnerable group of road users. In seeking to address the situation the Unit felt that the Road Safety Guidebook project, which saw the printing of 276,000 guidebooks for children between the ages 5-9 at Primary level schools, was one means of doing this. It was felt that with proper application and assimilation of the material, some positive results would be forthcoming. In tandem with this drive at the school level however, there was need for a programme to be instituted at the national level to focus popular attention on the issue and to co-opt support from governmental and non-governmental organizations for a more concentrated approach to this problem.

Given the nature of the phenomenon and based on the impressionable age of the immediate target audience, it was felt that a reduction of these fatalities by at least 15% in 3 years would be an achievable goal.

Audience
The immediate target was children ages 5-9 in primary and all age schools across the island. Since the proposed campaign would be driven through the Primary level schools, teachers of students at the selected grade level were also being targeted. Much of the literature and training to be presented under this proposal was heavily dependent on teacher input. Parents of the selected students were also considered an important group for reinforcement of the road safety message.

Message
A theme was established for the campaign “….For The Children” and was carried through in all the messages designed.

Queuing Campaign August – September 2002

Focus and Objectives
This campaign was conceptualized because of the Unit’s concern with the ordered movement of pedestrians in the traffic environment particularly as it relates to movement by public passenger vehicles. The campaign focusing on getting passengers to line up when entering public passenger vehicles was designed and utilized a multi-agency approach that incorporated the Transport Authority, Jamaica Urban Transport Company (JUTC), Jamaica Gasoline Retailers Association (JGRA), the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), the Kiwanis club, Ministry of Education and the Police.

The objectives were:-
• To foster, promote and aid the building of an ideal traffic culture
• To improve child pedestrian safety and wellbeing
• To create a proper social environment for the improved operations of JUTC buses
• To support and improve the monitoring of passengers for the smooth collection of fare
• To enhance the role and function of bus inspectors through the promotion of order
• To eliminate crowding and disorderliness which, provide a haven for illicit activities.

Audience
This campaign targeted commuters on public passenger vehicles and particularly students.

Messages
Messages were created around the tag line “ Join the line, its queuing time” encouraging persons to line up to enter buses for; safety, public order, children and elderly.

Activities and Schedule
Public Service Announcements
Two PSAs were aired on both radio and television from August to September. Posters were developed and initially placed in buses. Queuing Guidelines were developed in brochure form.

Line Up Day
“Line Up Days” were observed in September at the beginning of the new school year. On these days teams made up of persons from the different entities involved, were at eight different locations (bus terminals) in the Half-Way-Tree, Cross Roads and Down Town areas of Kingston encouraging commuters to queue and distributing brochures. Line up days were observed for the entire first week of the new school year, Monday September 2 to Friday September 6, 2002.

Press Advisory
Press advisories were written and distributed to all media houses informing them of the campaign and its various activities.

 

Outside Broadcast & Interviews
KLAS FM broadcast live from Half Way Tree locations being manned on ‘Line Up Day’. The broadcast included commentaries and interviews. In addition, there were separate interviews on other radio stations leading up to ‘Line Up Day’

ROAD SAFETY MONTH 2004 CAMPAIGN

Focus and Objectives
This campaign was designed to refocus attention on the use of protective devices as the high usage level noticed immediately following the passing of the Protective Devices legislation in 1999 had fallen off. A Protective Helmet Awareness Day and National Buckle-Up Day were observed in 2001 and 2003 respectively as reminders of the tenets of the legislation and the Unit decided that there was need for regular reinforcement and encouragement.

Therefore the activities of Road Safety Month (June) focused not only on buckling up but on the use of protective devices in general.

Audience
The target was all motorists and motorcyclists as well as parent/guardians (with respect of child restraints).

Message
Messages were designed to inform the audience of the provisions of the Protective Devices Legislation of 1999 and centred around the fact that helmets, as well as seat belts and child seats, have been proven to be very effective in saving lives and reducing injuries in the unwelcome event of traffic accidents. They took the form of advertisements in Newspapers and on radio and used the tagline “Buckle Up for Life”

Activities and Schedule
Publication of Newspaper Supplement 
Among the numerous activities usually undertaken to mark Road Safety Month, it has become traditional to publish a supplement in one of our major Newspapers. Supplements were published in two Newspapers, the Sunday Herald on June 13, 2004 and The Jamaica Observer on Wednesday June 9, 2004. The supplements featured messages from the Honourable Minister of Transport and Works and the Permanent Secretary, along with the editorials on protective devices and advertisements encouraging the use of protective devices. The publications were supported by advertisement from various corporate entities.

Drunk driving campaign December 2004

Focus and Objective
The festive season traditionally records higher incidents of traffic accidents and fatalities than any other time of year. It is observed that during the festive season there are more parties and drinking therefore the campaign focussed on Drinking and Driving. Sponsorship was received from the Jamaica International Insurance Company Ltd. (JICC).

Audience
The targeted group was very large; Motorists across the island

Message
Messages where centre around not drinking and driving

Activities and Schedule
Public Service Announcements
Two advertisements were produce (re-edited) and placed on radio.
Television Endorsements
This involved the airing of 30sec endorsements/appeals on two major television stations. These were done by popular Jamaica personalities from different spheres of society; Michael Nicholson (String Beans) - Actor, Jennifer Small (Jenni-Jenni)- Radio Personality, Fabian Davies (Mr. Fabulous) – National Footballer and Abijah- Singer. These were placed from the first week of December and ran through to the first week of January.

Outside broadcasts
An outside broadcast focussing on the message of the campaign “Don’t Drink and Drive” was done on Thursday December 9, 2006 during RJR’s Hot Line programme hosted by Barbara Gludon. The broadcast was done from the Offices of the Transport Authority and resource persons interviewed were:

1. Sergeant McKenzie of the Police Traffic Division who covered the area of Laws relating to drinking and drinking, their application and sanctions. He also spoke about testing i.e. administration of the breathalyzer test, and statistics on offences and prosecution. 
2. Mr. Vando Palmer, National Works Agency and Mr. Clement Watson, from the Road Maintenance Fund shared a segment, in which they spoke about how their respective entities related to road safety as well as other issues affecting the travelling public.
3. Senior personnel from Transport Authority related to the role played by the Transport Authority with regard to Public Passenger Vehicles and safety, also the role of inspectors.
4. Mr. Paul Clemetson director of the Road Safety Unit spoke extensively about road safety in general, drinking and driving specifically and the work of the Road Safety Unit.

Literature Distribution
Throughout the period of the broadcast literature on drinking and driving was distributed to motorists passing through the area. There is a major signalised intersection at the location i.e. complete with traffic lights, which provided the opportunity to interact with a large number of motorists.

Public Service Announcements
Two commercials previously produced commercials were re-edited to run for 30 seconds instead of 1 minute and placed on four radio stations. These PSAs ran for the same period as the television endorsements.

ROAD SAFETY MONTH 2004 CAMPAIGN

Focus and Objective
That year the Unit was invited by the Jamaica Gasoline Retailers Association (JGRA) to partner with them in their activities for the month. The campaign saw the inclusion of the National Road Safety Council, and the Police Traffic Division as well as the contracting (by the JGRA) of a marketing firm.

The theme for the campaign was “With Awesome Power Comes Greater Responsibility”

Audience
The focus and the theme was prompted by statistics showing that 75% -80% of accident fatalities are males; a third of them are between the ages of 16 and 35; and, an average of 90% of the drivers involved in accidents annually, are males. Therefore young male drivers were the primary audience.

Message 
The messages spoke to the dangers of, speeding and distractions such as cell phones.

Activities and Schedule
Sponsorship
First a sponsorship seeking exercise was staged by the marketing firm, and the Petroleum Company of Jamaica Ltd, (Petrojam), Red Stripe, Transjamaica Highway, the RJR Communications Group and the Jamaica Observer came on board.

Church Service & Launch
The campaign was then launched on Wednesday June 8, 2005 at the Petcom Service Station Braeton, Portmore. This was preceded by a church service at the Mandeville Baptist Church on Sunday June 5, 2005.

Defensive Driving Presentations
The campaign included presentation of a defensive driving lecture/seminar at the Petrojam refinery on Wednesday, June 15, 2005.

Work Day
As is the tradition of the JGRA a work day was held, this time on June 25. This work day involved the painting of a pedestrian crossing and bushing of a section the roadway on Old Harbour Road by McCooks Pen primary school.

Publication of Newspaper Supplement
The Road Safety Unit undertook the publication of a supplement on behalf of the group. This came out in the Gleaner of Sunday June 26, 2005.

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY CAMPAIGN 2005

Focus & Objective
The focus of this campaign was on pedestrians, a group that cannot be over emphasized as annually they represent 1/3 of all accident fatalities. The overall goal of the campaign was to reduce the number of adult pedestrian fatalities and, in keeping with the Unit’s 3 year plan (05-08), contribute to a 15% decrease over the 3 year period.

Target Audience
The primary target in this instance was pedestrians; adult pedestrians, as the past two years had shown a reduction in child pedestrian fatalities which could be attributed to previous campaigns focussing on children as well as our continued effort in schools. Special attention was paid to pedestrians in the parishes of St. Catherine, Clarendon and St. James.

Message
The belief was that in addition to telling motorists to look out for pedestrians, which had been done in the past, pedestrians need to be made aware of the role they play in accidents, whether or not these accidents result in injuries. They need to be educated as to appropriate behaviour in avoiding accidents. The tagline “WALK GOOD” (referred to in previously developed plans), was felt to be ideally suited for this campaign.

Activities and Schedule
Public Service Announcements
Two advertisements were placed on television stations TVJ and CVM, and radio versions of the same were placed on four radio stations RJR 94, Power 106, Irie Fm and Radio 2. These ads ran from October to November.

Outside Broadcast
A total of 3 broadcasts were hosted by the Unit in Clarendon, St. James and St. Catherine. These are the three parishes with the highest incidents of pedestrian fatalities. The first broadcast was done on September 27th 2005 in May Pen Clarendon and was used to launch the campaign. The second broadcast was on October 26, 2005 in Montego Bay, St. James, and the final broadcasts took place in Linstead, St. Catherine on November 29, 2005. All the broadcasts were carried on Hot 102 FM during their Hot Mix programme hosted by ‘Richie B’.

Distribution of Literature

Flyers focusing on pedestrian safety were distributed at all the broadcast locations.

DRIVER ERROR CAMPAIGN DEC. 2005

Focus & Objective
Statistics reveal that over 80% of all motor vehicle accidents are due to driver error. Additionally, there are generally more accidents during December than in any other month of the year. The latter may be attributed to the fact that during the festive season there is increased traffic flow, extended business hours, more partying, more out-of-town trips and more passengers per vehicle. The number of driver errors committed also increases; speeding, faulty over-taking and improper lane changes are some of the more common errors.

The campaign was designed to focus on these driver errors and decrease the number of accident fatalities for the festive season (2005) by 10 % over that which occurred in 2004. This campaign was carried out jointly by the Road Safety Unit and the National Road Safety Council.

Specific objectives of the campaign were to:
• Encourage prudence during the festive season 
• Educate about causes of accidents
• Encourage drivers to prevent accidents by avoiding mistakes

Audience
The audience for this campaign was male drivers 20-41 years old Island wide. Among this group are inexperienced drivers, for some whom youthful exuberance leads to a feeling of invincibility and reluctance to accept that they can become accident victims. Additionally, the male of the species subconsciously, view the motor vehicle as an extension of their manhood. The look and handling of this machine is a boost to the ego and results in more aggressive driving and risk taking. Behaviour change can be difficult to achieve with this group.
Secondary Audience:
Certain organizations can lend support to the campaign, eg corporate entities and media houses. The involvement of media houses was necessary in the promotion of the campaign and its messages through forms of free publicity such as interviews. Corporate entities were of course necessary for financial support.

Messages
Materials were developed to deliver specific messages:-
• Most accidents are due to driver error
• Speeding, improper overtaking, drinking and driving are errors than can cause accidents
• Extra caution during the festive season can help you to avoid making mistakes and causing accidents

Activities & Schedule
Public Service Announcements
The campaign ran for approximately 7 weeks from the second-to-last week of November to the first week of January and utilized mainly the electronic media and some print. Advertisements previously produced by the National Road Safety Council were modified to be used on radio and one produced by the Jamaica Insurance association was modified for television.

Media Interviews
Interviews were facilitated by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) providing an avenue for a kind of a ‘launch’ and the Director of the Road Safety Unit discussed the details; purpose, components and background, of the campaign as well as other pertinent issues having to do with road safety during the festive season. Following that the campaign was the subject of feature stories on J.I.S television and radio.

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY CAMPAIGN JUNE 2006

Focus & Objective
This campaign, which adopted elements from a campaign planner produced by the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, focussed on reducing pedestrian fatalities and had two main objectives (1) sensitize drivers to the fact that pedestrians are legitimate road users and should always be expected on or near the roadway, (2) educate pedestrians about using the road ways correctly in order to minimizing risks to their safety.

Target Audience
The Primary Audience were Pedestrians and Motorists The secondary audience will include school/community groups, the media and police, who will be asked to support the campaign.

Message
Messages were designed around the slogan “You can make a difference”. Four commercials targeted drivers, one for television and three for radio. Three ads were produced specifically speaking to pedestrians, two for radio and one for television.

Activities & Schedule:
Road Safety Presentations: working with the Blue Cross Wellness club, we made presentations to club members at the St. Cecelia’s Primary School about pedestrian safety. We also touched a little on road safety for drivers and passengers.

Pedestrian Safety Walk: A group of children from the club later participated in a pedestrian safety walk on Wednesday June 14. The walk took place along the Half Way Tree Road from the pedestrian crossing between the Springs and Premier Plazas to the crossing by the Victoria Mutual building, 73 Half Way Tree Road. The group, which included personnel from the Unit, the police, and teachers demonstrated the proper use of the multiple pedestrian signals along that route, as well as distributed flyers developed for the campaign. This activity was done to heighten awareness of the general public (through the media coverage that was provided) and particularly of commuters in that area. A brief ceremony was held in the Premier Plaza prior to the commencement of the walk.

Persons participating in the ‘Walk’ all wore T-Shirts printed with the Unit’s logo and the campaign slogan.

Public Service Announcements: Six 30seconds commercials were developed for the campaign but only the one for television was aired, for a one month period in June.

Press Releases and Newspaper Articles
A Press Release was done to announce the Pedestrian Safety Walk and transmitted to all media houses. Articles were also published in the Sunday Herald Newspaper separate and apart from the news release and coverage of the event.

Road Signs
Two ‘mini-boards’ (8 x 4) designs were done and placed in locations across the island.