Source: The Jamaica Observer
MAY PEN, Clarendon – Fifty school crossing wardens from Clarendon and south Manchester were recently trained to become road safety “ambassadors”, according to a news release from bauxite/alumina company, Jamalco.
Halse Hall-based Jamalco, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), and the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport, Works & Housing hosted the activity at Halse Hall Great House as part of the Jamalco Road Safety Programme.
Manager of Corporate Services at Jamalco DonnaMarie Brooks-Gordon commended the wardens for making an effort to attend the training and for recognising the importance of protecting children on the road. “I am very pleased that you value our children’s safety,” she said.
Brooks-Gordon said the Jamalco Road Safety Programme was inspired years ago by the high level of fatal road accidents involving children.
“Back in 2009, the number of children who were dying on the road was alarming. Jamalco felt the need to help arrest this problem by implementing the school wardens’ programme at selected schools in its operating areas,” Brooks-Gordon said, adding that no child has been injured in these communities since the programme was implemented.
Island coordinator of the JCF Road Safety Unit Corporal Daniel Bennett, in his presentation, reminded the wardens of the significant role they play daily. “You are the captains of the pedestrian crossings. Your job is important, so ensure that you hold your self-esteem very high, because no job is too low,” Bennett said.
Director of the Road Safety Unit Kenute Hare also appealed to the wardens and, by extension, all Jamaicans to become road safety warriors. “Your wardens will be required to ensure these children cross safely. You also have a responsibility to stop parents from dragging children across the road. We need to do everything possible to save a life,” Hare said.
Newly trained wardens hailed the programme. “Before this training, there were many things I did not know,” said Karen Blagrove.
The Jamalco School Crossing Wardens’ Programme was launched in October 2009 as an extension of the company’s Road Safety Awareness initiative. To date, the programme has been implemented at seven schools within Jamalco’s operating areas and over 100 wardens from local communities in Clarendon and south Manchester have received temporary employment under the programme, the news release said.