Chang implores motorcyclists to wear protective helmets Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

National Security Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Horace Chang, is urging motorcyclists to wear protective helmets to minimise the risk of serious injuries and death from crashes.

He said data from the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) have indicated that for crashes involving motorcycles, 80 per cent of the riders were without helmets, and usually sustain fatal or severe head injuries.

“The country cannot lose its many potential talents by virtue of road crashes,” said Chang.

He was speaking at the launch of the National Helmet Wearing Coalition (NHWC) recently at the AC Hotel by Marriott in New Kingston.

A collaboration between the Jamaica National Foundation (JNF) and the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), with funding from the FIA Foundation, the initiative is aimed at heightening awareness of motorcycle safety.

The initiative is also geared at promoting correct helmet usage among motorcycle drivers through advocacy and engagement programmes.

Chang, in welcoming the coalition, said it will assist in tackling the rising incidence of fatalities and injuries among motorcycle drivers in Jamaica.

Data from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) indicate that motorcycle collisions accounted for 32 per cent of total road fatalities in 2023.

Chang noted that the project will not only encourage the use of the protective devices to save lives, but to help build a system for the use of safe and affordable helmets.

Chang added that the Vision 2030 Plan underscores the critical need to implement a strategy aimed at enhancing road safety, minimising fatalities and injuries resulting from road traffic accidents, and fulfilling sustainable transportation requirements.

“The strain on law enforcement from road incidents, especially those with motorcycles, is undeniable. To address this, the Government has invested in the new Electronic Ticketing Management System aimed at enforcing road safety laws more effectively. This system is expected to prompt behavioural change among motorists by holding them more accountable for their actions, and facing the consequences,” said Chang.

The minister commended the NRSC, the JN Foundation Project Steering Committee, and the FIA Foundation, for their significant contributions to the NHWC.