Member of Parliament for St Thomas Eastern, Dr Michelle Charles, is calling for compulsory ongoing education for habitual bad drivers, especially those who put the lives of other road users at risk.
Charles made the call on Tuesday during her contribution to the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives. She noted that the majority of persons who drive in Jamaica are safe drivers but argued that “we need to change the way reckless drivers think in Jamaica and that can only be done through education”.
To this end, Charles, a first-term Member of Parliament, is calling for an amendment to the Road Traffic Act to include mandatory JADD School (Jamaicans Against Dangerous Driving).
“These courses should include an accident prevention course, a drug alcohol awareness course, and a driver improvement course as well,” Charles stated.
“I recommend JADD School for a minimum of four hours for persons who receive tickets for overtaking in a manner causing obstruction to traffic, and careless driving with, or without a collision. I am calling for a minimum of 6-8 hours of JADD Traffic School for speeding and 12 to 16 hours for habitual traffic offenders and reckless and dangerous drivers,” she added.
With over 365 people killed in motor vehicle crashes since the start of the year and with more than 110 of those being motorcyclists, Charles also wants this vulnerable group of road users to be subjected to JAAD School.
“While we welcome the new and improved roads in St Thomas Eastern, we also want to ensure our safety. Imagine a country with disciplined drivers on the road,” said Charles.
Of note is that the new Road Traffic Act that was passed in 2018 is yet to be fully implemented.