The National Road Safety Council (NRSC) says the ten people killed in traffic accidents over the Easter weekend represent the second highest death toll during Easter since 2001.
Data from the police traffic division shows that the 10 fatalities over the extended weekend are only topped by those in 2008 – which totaled 12 deaths – the highest over the 16 year period.
The authorities have pointed to a worrying and dangerous trend over the Easter holidays in relation to fatal accidents.
Convener and Vice Chairman of the NRSC Dr. Lucien Jones, notes that such tragedies are preventable with greater care on the nation’s roads. He adds that the Easter break is a significant holiday in Jamaica, but unfortunately, based on records, this long holiday has been ending in far too many injuries and deaths.
The Easter weekend deaths have increased the total road fatalities to 103, from 96 fatal crashes since the start of the year.
This represents a 22 per cent decline in the fatality rate compared to the corresponding period last year when 132 fatalities were recorded from 112 crashes.
This year’s figures included 31 motor cyclists, 28 pedestrians, 21 private motor car drivers, eight private motor car passengers, six pedal cyclists, five pillion passengers, three commercial motor carrier drivers and one commercial motor carrier passenger.
Two fatalities were recorded for Holy Thursday, three on Good Friday, four on Easter Sunday and one on Easter Monday.
Meantime, Executive Director of the NRSC Paula Fletcher, says while the statistics from the police traffic division point to a worrying and dangerous trend over the Easter holidays, everyone has the ability to make a positive change based on daily choices, including taking responsibility for safety, and the safety of the most vulnerable on the road – especially the children and the elderly.
She is again urging motorists to cut their speed, use safety devices including seatbelt, car seats for infants, motor cycle helmets, observe the rules of the road, and be vigilant.
The NRSC motorcyclists are also among the vulnerable group and that group of road users has seen an overall 24.3 per cent reduction in deaths since this year
The authorities have pinpointed speeding and pedestrian error as the key contributors to road traffic fatalities.
Meantime, head of the Traffic Police Superintendent Calvin Allen says despite the recent spike in fatalities, the deaths so far are fewer than last year.