The Department for Transport and Mines Road Safety Unit (RSU) is warning motorists and motorcyclists to reduce their speeds when traveling on major arterial roads, particularly in St Ann and St James.
Indeed, several areas of concern have been identified as collision hotspots in both parishes.
Along the main road from Llandovery in St Ann’s parish, particularly near Laughlands, as well as the main roads from Runaway Bay and Discovery Bay, have been identified as crash hotspots. Deaths on these roads collectively accounted for 38% of road deaths in the parish this year.
Other areas of concern in St Ann include Chalky Hill Main Road, DaCosta/Turtle River Main Road, Drax Hall, Grierfield Main Road near Moneague, Old Bethany Main Road near Brown’s Town and the Bypass from Spring Gardens Road.
In St James, the main roads of Greenwood and Rose Hall have been identified as accident hotspots, which have collectively accounted for 50% of road accident deaths in the parish so far this year.
The RSU also has growing concerns about the main roads Bluehole, Dumfries and Mount Salem, as well as the main road 41 in Rose Heights.
RSU Director Deidrie Hudson-Sinclair said the number of serious deaths on the named roads is largely due to the reckless and irresponsible behavior of some motorists and motorcyclists.
“People engage in inappropriate overtaking, swerving, failing to keep to their left, often resulting in loss of control, which has led to accidents and fatalities in these areas,” she said. .
She renewed calls for motorists and passengers to wear front and rear seat belts, and for motorcyclists and passenger passengers to wear appropriate helmets and footwear.
“Motorists should reduce their speed when passing through built-up areas and residential areas, and observe the designated speed limit of 50 km/h (kilometers per hour); and if they drive where there are schools, they should stay under 30 km/h,” she said.
Hudson-Sinclair further warns pedestrians crossing these roadways to use sidewalks, to remain alert at all times, and to walk in the face of oncoming traffic whenever possible, in order to spot dangerous situations.
When crossing roads, pedestrians are advised to cross when the road is completely clear or ensure that all vehicles come to a complete stop before proceeding.
It has been noted that it is easier for pedestrians to stop than for motorists or motorcyclists, especially if they are traveling at excessive speeds.
RSU data shows that 487 people died in crashes last year as of December 31, 2021, with men accounting for 89% of that figure.
Road deaths for 2022 have already exceeded the number recorded for the corresponding period last year.