KINGSTON – Nine people, including a policeman, lost their lives tragically over the Easter weekend in road crashes.
The latest occurred on the Port Royal main road yesterday about 6:15 a.m. when a man, who has been identified as Cecil Prawl, reportedly lost control of his car and crashed.
The dead policeman was identified as Constable Ramon Stephens, 33, of the Motorised Patrol Division.
According to Vice Chairman of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) Dr Lucien Jones, “Based on preliminary reports it appears that excessive speeding is the cause for the road fatalities.”
But, despite the weekend tragedies, Dr Jones told the Jamaica Observer yesterday said that the country has been seeing a monthly decline in fatal crashes.
“Since the start of the year we have had 100 fatalities, compared to 128 last year. This represent a 22 per cent reduction in road deaths,” he said.
“We started off the year pretty good, as 30 people died in January, compared to 36 last year; 22 people died in February, compared to 33 last year; and in March 31 people died, compared to 38 last year,” Dr Jones added.
He said significantly fewer motorcyclists were being killed in road accidents, while noting that deaths from motorcycle have accounted for the majority of road accidents over past few years.
Although the Easter holiday period has ended, Dr Jones said the carnival season is still on and as result urged motorists to be cautious on the road and not to drive under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.
“The number one message is to be very careful and to keep with in the speed limit,” he told the Observer.
In the meantime, he has urged motorcyclists and pillions riders to wear their helmets, and drivers to make use of their seat belt, not only in the front seat but also in the back seat.
Pedestrians were also warned to be more aware on the road and to desist from listening from their earphones while walking.
The NRSC, said Dr Jones, will continue its message to motorists to “slow down on the road” as May 10 to 14 will be celebrated at Global Road Safety Week and the focus will be on speed control.