51 JAA Junior Clubs have been established in secondary schools across the island,with a total of 1,700 student members
The 360 students who make up the executive board of the Clubs were trained in road safety and youth advocacy.
28 entries were received in the "Me and Mi Crew" road safety competition.
82.9% of club members reported that they started to apply safe road use behaviours.
Nearly 9.2% of Club members sampled indicated that they would be interested in pursuing a mechanical-related career.
The FIA’s Decade of Action launched in 2011 heralded the start of 10 years of steady and focused attention on the reduction of the carnage and its consequent costs on the roads. The FIA’s goal is to reduce the number of fatalities by half; saving 5 million lives and preventing 50 million injuries around the world. Through the JAA Junior Club, the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) has committed to support to this valiant effort.
The JAA Junior Club was recently added to the menu of extra-curricular activities in schools across the island and has quickly become one to watch. Using fun and innovation to address the serious topic of poor road user behaviour and its unfortunate consequences; the project surpassed its target of establishing 50 clubs in its pilot phase. At present, the JAA Junior Club is in 53 schools; all of which are located in close proximity to the island’s crash hot spots.
Focused on reducing the number and frequency of road crashes and fatalities through increased awareness and interest in road safety challenges, better road user practices and a responsible approach to motor racing and mechanical related careers; the clubs are making their presence felt.
Already eight high-resolution billboards around the island feature illustrations done by a student of the Godfrey Stewart High School in the parish of Savanna-la-mar. A road safety rally was staged in Half-Way-Tree, Kingston and the message of better road user practices taken to the Dover raceway, the heart of the local motor racing community. A bus shed has also been erected outside of the Godfrey Stewart High School.
The JAA Junior Club is a collaborative effort, implemented by the JN Foundation, in partnership with the JAA, JN General Insurance Co Ltd. and the FIA Foundation.
Studies indicate that globally there are 1.3 million road fatalities per annum that place a drain on 3% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Ninety-one percent of these occur in middle and low income countries like Jamaica. Local statistics indicate that Jamaica has an average of 110 accident-related deaths per million inhabitants. In Jamaica in 2003 it was estimated that the 391 fatalities that occurred placed a toll of $320 million on the Jamaican purse. Although immense, the figure pales in comparison to the long term costs to the families and the wider society. With this in mind, the National Road Safety Council has set an ambitious target of a maximum of 240 road fatalities per annum between 2013 and 2016. There were 306 road fatalities on Jamaica’s roads in 2013.
Jonathan Grant High School is the first school to have registered in the JAA Junior Club programme and within one year of its formation,became the first club among the 53 to have successfully lobbied for the rectification of a major road safety issue in their community.
Prior to September 2014, there was no defined sidewalk to facilitate the passage of students and other road users entering and exiting the school compound. Principal Oneil Ankle conceded that with 1500 students on the morning shift, “students have been knocked down in the past.” Studies show that obstructions on the pavement and the absence of sidewalks are significant contributors to pedestrian-caused crashes.
The vision and determination of club members prompted them to spearhead a drive to have the National Works Agency construct a sidewalk for the safe passage of pedestrians. Tracy Ann Hall, Automotive Technology Instructor and JAA Junior Club Liaison teacher, guided the students in drafting the document, which included the proposed design for the sidewalk. The proposal was submitted to the Parish Council, the Ministry of Education and the National Works Agency. Today, the students and others are able to traverse the area freely and safely on the recently constructed pavement.
The best answer does not always come from the experts, sometimes it comes from the ingénues. To culminate Global Road Safety Week, the JAA Junior Club threw out an open-ended challenge to its members. They were asked to complete the following statement “Mi and mi Crew…” and complement the message with an appropriate graphic design. The winning piece “Mi and mi crew… don’t let this be you” aptly tackled the issue of walking and texting.
According to a national US survey conducted by Ohio State University, between 2004 and 2010, the number of pedestrian visits to the Emergency Room in the USA for injuries related to cell phones tripled. With the increase in the number of students who own smart phones locally, the message was on point. The winning design submitted by then 4th form Godfrey Stewart High Schoolstudent, Shanelle Jones, has been mounted on eight billboards around the island. The prize of $100,000 was used for the erection of two bus stops just outside the Godfrey Stewart High School.
Fast cars with big engines and motor racing are common aspirations for many young people. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the daredevil antics of road racing are often triggers for persons to enter the world of motor racing. . An exciting benefit of a JAA Junior Club membership is that it provides more controlled access to the exciting world of motor racing.
At Dover’s Carnival of Speed Meet, club members seized the opportunity to share their message of safe driving with the thick crowd of motor racing enthusiasts who attended. The Long Short Walk for Road Safety witnessed scores of JAA Junior Club members and supporters making their way around the track waving placards and banners emblazoned with key road safety messages.. The event was the first of its kind for racing enthusiasts in Jamaica and based on the overwhelming feedback, it will not be the last.