Minister with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Dr. Morais Guy, says the safety audits to be undertaken on new road projects in the island is to ensure that the infrastructure being put in place will be beneficial to all road users, particularly the most vulnerable.
Making his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on April 28, Dr. Guy said this will form part of the Ministry’s new policy directive and is being done to ensure that road safety is fully incorporated in all road projects from the design phase.
He informed that this financial year, the Ministry will be focusing more on the vulnerable road users, namely children, the elderly, persons with special needs, pedestrians, motorcyclists and pedal cyclists.
In the meantime, the Minister said during the 2014/2015 fiscal year, over 80 road safety stakeholders, including the Jamaica Defence Force, Jamaica Constabulary Force, National Works Agency, Island Traffic Authority, National Road Safety Council, Insurance Investigators and Ministry personnel were trained in several crucial areas of road safety.
The areas of training included: accident investigation and reconstruction; road safety audit management; defensive driving: driver behaviour, and risk index.
Dr. Guy said these road safety training programmes will enhance Jamaica’s road safety operations, “and it is our hope that once we sustain this expertise, the benefits will be significant.”
He added that the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) will assume a lead role in these training programmes, adding that the CMI has now positioned itself as the premier Accident Investigation and Reconstruction Training institution in the Caribbean.
Dr. Guy said that for the 2015/2016 financial year, the CMI will deliver training in driver behaviour and risk to our driving population, in an effort to bring discipline to the traffic environment.
He pointed out that the carnage on the roads continues to be a major concern of the Ministry, and that over the past year a lot of resources were focused on public education and sensitisation about the proper use of the roads.
“A multi-agency approach was used and this saw the implementation of several initiatives with the Road Safety Unit, the National Road Safety Council, the Police, the Social Development Commission and several private sector partners,” the Minister said.