With more than 40 participating high schools across the island, the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) Junior Club programme is aiming to build on the lessons learned since its inception in September 2013.
The clubs’ objective is to increase the level of road-safety awareness and inspire improved road-use behaviour among high school students across the island.
Carey Lue-Pann, JAA Junior Club project manager, said that through “the intervention of members of the clubs in schools across Jamaica, numerous road- safety initiatives and projects of varying types have been undertaken”.
“The students, along with their faculty advisers, have been instrumental in carrying out projects that have enhanced road safety for persons in the wider communities,” he said. Lue-Pann noted that “Some projects have resulted in sidewalks and bus stops being improved, while other interventions have helped to raise road- safety awareness.”
JAA Junior Clubs are an initiative of the JAA, in collaboration with the Jamaica National Building Society Foundation, JN General Insurance Company (JNGI), the Ministry of Education, the FIA Foundation, and the FIA Road Safety Grant Programme.
Throughout the school year, club members benefit from activities implemented to provide exposure to various aspects of the motorsport and automotive industries.
Lue-Pann said, “Regular field trips are a key part of the experience to sensitise our students to the important link between motor vehicle care and road safety, while highlighting the diverse employment opportunities that are available within motorsport.”
For 2016, these initiatives are expected to continue, while efforts are made to generate new life into clubs across the island. “As a priority, we are still seeking to establish new clubs in schools across Jamaica, especially those located in areas with high levels of road crashes,” he explained.
Special attention will also be paid to key road-safety issues which have emerged, including motorcycle safety, learner drivers and the new Road Traffic Act.
Lue-Pann further stated that in keeping with the programme’s technology focus, several social-media based outreach activities will be launched this year to engage members of JAA Junior Clubs and the public.
“In the past, we have used social-media channels to initiate conversations about road safety by encouraging our members to conceptualise content that would contribute to raising awareness. We plan to continue to expand those initiatives in 2016,” Lue-Pann said.