McKenzie cites need for campaign to highlight road crash ‘disaster’ Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, has indicated that there is an urgent need for a campaign to highlight the severity of road crashes across the country.

McKenzie’s comments come in the wake of last Sunday’s two-bus crash on the Llandovery main road in St Ann, which resulted in the deaths of 50-year-old Jennifer Palmer and driver Kermit Grant on the day of the incident.

By Thursday, the number of persons dying as a result of injuries sustained in the crash moved to four, after 20-year-old Khadijah Campbell of Brown’s Town and an unidentified man also died.

Approximately 18 people remain hospitalised as a result of that crash, while there have been several other fatal road crashes since then across the island.

While speaking at a town hall meeting hosted by the ministry in Runaway Bay, St Ann on Thursday, McKenzie described the road deaths caused by traffic crashes as a man-made disaster that is affecting the country.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie (Photo: JIS)

According to him, the same way persons can use social media to raise awareness about issues, the same should be done to tackle road fatalities locally.

“We are paying a severe price for this level of indiscipline that has taken over our roads. We are losing lives – (mostly) young men – and I am concerned,” said McKenzie.

“The same way in which we use social media and other forms of information to be critical and raise concerns about (other) issues, let us start a campaign in this country about the carnage on our roads, and what we as Jamaicans can do and are prepared to do,” the minister continued.

“I bet yuh any morning some of you decide yuh not taking these buses or taxis yuh send dem a message!” he added.

The carnage on the roads, said McKenzie, is also resulting in the country losing much-needed revenue.

“The law alone can’t help, and I am feeling a little bit down, because I saw somebody who is mourning the death of a loved one.

“When I listen to the number of persons in the hospitals, where elective surgeries have to put on hold, that is a cost to the country, loss of revenue, loss of production, and we consider it to be a disaster,” he explained.

“… And we are going to be taking this message right across the country,” stated McKenzie.