11 May 2017
4th United Nations Global Road Safety Week: Raising Awareness in Jamaica on the Dangers of Speed
At a road safety event in Jamaica yesterday to support the 4th UN Global Road Safety Week and global “Save Lives #SlowDown” campaign, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, signed an Open Letter urging action on reducing and enforcing traffic speeds to a level safe for children in Jamaica, as well as prioritizing low-speed zones in residential areas and near schools
The Prime Minister, who also serves as the Chairman of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), said: "We are committed to using all the utilities at our disposal to reduce road crashes by 50% by 2020." The National Road Safety Council and its members committed to intensify work in the areas of public education, enforcement, research, data collection, legislative reform and emergency response, with the goal of helping Jamaica reduce road fatalities to under 300 annually.
Also speaking at the event was FIA President Jean Todt, in his role as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, who said: “Speed management is a proven ‘vaccine’ that can prevent injury to all, including children. As with all vaccines, this one only works if we manage to deliver it, in this case to the streets and especially where children walk and live. So, we must rally political support, stronger regulations and donor funding behind a global effort to make every school journey safe; to workplaces, hospitals, schools, for every child, for everyone. Here, in Jamaica, which has gifted to the world the fastest and most entertaining athletes and champions we have ever seen, I make this call to the international community: speed up action to make roads safe”.
Other high level participants included Yohan Blake, Olympic Champion and #3500LIVES Campaign Ambassador; Earl Jarrett, President of Jamaican Automobile Association and Member of the NRSC; and Zoleka Mandela, Ambassador for the Global Initiative for Child Health & Mobility. The meeting was hosted in partnership by the FIA Foundation and NRSC.
Olympic sprinter Yohan Blake, an Ambassador for the FIA #3500LIVES campaign, promoting the message to always “Respect the Speed Limit” said: “Too many lives have been lost because of speeding. If you are going somewhere and you are late, you are already late. Drive within the speed limit and remember that speeding kills”.