JAMAICA’S road users can now know where fatal road crashes are occurring daily with the development of the JNGI Fatal Crash Map.
According to Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee, director of Mona GeoInformatics Institute at The University of the West Indies (UWI), anyone can now retrieve this information online.
“We want to be able present information to stakeholders as it happens,” Dr Lyew-Ayee told guests at the crash map’s launch at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, UWI, Mona campus, last Thursday.
Sponsored by JN General Insurance Company (JNGI) and the JN Foundation, the map is updated every day using data supplied by the Police Traffic Division. It is available exclusively on the website at www.jngijamaica.com and has data from January 1, 2015.
“You are nine times more likely to be killed in a road crash in Jamaica than you are in England. As a major motor insurer in Jamaica, JNGI has a substantial vested interest in this situation improving,” said Chris Hind, general manager of JNGI.
Hind indicated that the JNGI Fatal Crash Map is a follow-up to the company’s “Crash Hot Spot” road safety campaign launched three years ago. Conceptualised from research conducted by Dr Lyew-Ayee, the most dangerous stretches of the road network were identified and branded by JNGI, using signs and billboards to warn road users to take special care.
“Last year, we lost 331 lives on the road and 90 were pedestrian,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Calvin Allen, head of the Traffic Division.
“We have zeroed in on those areas,” he continued.
Earl Jarrett, general manager of Jamaica National Building Society, lauded the joint venture.
“A relationship developed between Mona GeoInformatics and JNGI, along with other elements of the JN Group,” he said.
This collaboration led to the production of a road safety documentary ‘Decoding Dangerous Roads’; as well as research into other risks associated with the Jamaican environment.
“The management of the reduction of road fatalities must depend on bringing greater knowledge and awareness to the process,” Jarrett continued.
He also gave credit to the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) for originally reaching this conclusion, which led to the start of the research by the Mona GeoInformatics Institute.