`` Road safety is, without a doubt, one of the most critical areas that we, as citizens, must address, given the significant loss of life on our roads, daily.``
Under the theme “Child Safety… it’s you, it’s me, it’s all ah we!”
Prime Minister, Andrew Holness (left), cuts the ribbon to officially open the Road Safety Hub with SSP Calvin Allen and Genernal Manger of JN Foundation Saffrey Brown.
Members of the Immaculate Conception High School JAA Junior Club
X Marks The Spot
The X Marks the Spot Road Safety Campaign is a collaborative effort between the JN Foundation and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the overall global goal of the Child Road Traffic Injuries Prevention (CRTIP) Programme to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals targets 3.6 and 11.2 on protecting children from death and injury on the roads and providing a safe journey to school for every child.
The campaign aims to achieve three (3) main objectives, namely:
- Develop an in-depth research, Child Road Safety Assessment Report, on new and existing data capacities on child road injuries in Jamaica to include key risk factors, vulnerabilities and geographic specificities for identifying gaps in policy and legislation; conduct a risk analysis to identify locations for infrastructural intervention; as well as establish a monitoring and evaluation plan.
- Encourage advocacy of and discussions on road safety in schools and households, beyond National Road Safety Week and Jamaica’s signing of the UN’s road safety conventions.
- Utilise the results of the Child Road Safety Assessment Report to identify areas for infrastructural interventions such as the installation of crosswalks, signs, speed reduction surfaces, and other counter measures.
The last five years have seen over 120 children dying on the nation’s roads and another significant number suffering from life changing injuries as a result of over 70,000 traffic crashes within 100m of school zones over the past decade. Additionally, road fatalities of children in Jamaica are ranked at 13th among causes of death of children in the nation and 7th worldwide.
The JN Foundation and UNICEF Jamaica has proposed a partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in its 2019 Worker’s Week and Labour Day activities with a focus on Child Road Safety. The overall goal of this initiative is to improve the safety of children at school, increase road user awareness and improve mechanisms for providing safe routes to school for child pedestrians.
Road Safety Hub
Since 2012, serious road crashes resulting in fatalities have been on an upward trajectory. As part of the JN Foundation’s commitment to enhancing the health and safety of all Jamaicans we have partnered with the Traffic and Highway Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to design and build a state-of-the-art road safety management facility and community resource centre.
This Traffic Management Centre, powered by the Mona Geoinformatics Institute, also doubles as a hub for the display of real-time road crash and network data and a homework and resource centre for residents in and around Central Kingston.
This initiative aims to contribute to the reduction of crashes and fatalities island wide as a result of improved traffic management decisions and more effective use of the traffic police corps at hot spots and other hard to manage areas.
In order to facilitate the development of this facility, the JN Foundation purchased a 9’x40’ container which, along with two (2) other containers, were retrofitted to create the JN Road Safety Hub launched on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.
JAA Junior Clubs
The FIA’s Decade of Action launched in 2011 heralded the start of 10 years of steady and focused attention on the reduction of carnage and its consequent costs on 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 supporting this valiant effort.
The JAA Junior Club has been 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 mechanically related careers; the clubs are making their presence felt.
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.
Police in Schools
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 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 School student, 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 Godfrey Stewart High School.
Police in Schools Impact
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.