The Road Traffic Act, 2018 and the Road Traffic Regulations, 2022 are slated to be implemented in February 2023.
This was disclosed by Transport and Mining Minister, Audley Shaw, who pointed out that “this legislation will aid in curbing indiscipline in the traffic environment and will see motorists facing tough sanctions for breaching the rules.”
Shaw added that, “This is not in an effort to punish or chastise (persons), but to drive home the message that the traffic environment is not a playground (and) must be handled with responsibility and utmost care.”
He was speaking during the Transport Operators’ Development Sustainable Services (TODSS) Ninth 40-day Road Safety Awareness Campaign Stakeholders Partnership Round Table Conference on Thursday (December 8) at Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew.
Shaw, who said the ministry is engaging critical stakeholder groups in dialogue about the new legislation, indicated that a public education campaign will shortly be rolled out.
Between January 1 and December 8 this year, a total of 444 persons died from 386 motor vehicle collisions.
November accounted for 50 fatalities resulting from 41 collisions, while six have so far been recorded in December.
The three categories of road users with the highest number of fatalities in November were motorcyclists – 18 fatalities; pedestrians – 10; and private motorcar drivers – seven.
The statistics further show that 86 per cent of the fatalities were male and 14 per cent female, with the main cause being excessive speeding.
Shaw, in lamenting the number of high road fatalities, said the Act’s provisions are intended to curb reckless driving practices that are frequently occurring on the nation’s roads and, ultimately, reduce the number of associated deaths.
In 2021, there were 487 road fatalities, which Shaw said represented the highest number ever recorded for a calendar year.
“We remain (resolute), as Government, in our efforts to arrest the carnage on our roads in a sustainable way. The Island Traffic Authority (ITA) and Road Safety Unit (RSU) within the ministry continue to work with law enforcement agencies to strengthen our road-safety mechanism as we curb these road fatalities. Jamaica is committed to reducing road traffic crashes, fatalities and attendant injuries,” maintained Shaw.