Kingston, Westmoreland and St. Catherine Record Highest Child Road Fatalities – JN Foundation/ UNICEF Child Road Safety Report

Kingston, including the Metropolitan Area; Westmoreland, St. Catherine as well as Clarendon, have been recorded as the locations where children suffer from the highest number of road crashes and fatalities.
This is based on recent research findings published by JN Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
The research entitled: “JN/UNICEF Child Road Safety Assessment Report,” was officially launched by the Hon. Floyd Green, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, on Wednesday, July 18 at the Regional Headquarters of The University of the West Indies.
Conducted by a team of researchers, led by Dr. Earl Bailey, at the University of Technology, Jamaica, the findings revealed that among children in all parishes, it is primarily boys who fall victim to road traffic fatalities and injuries.

Dr. Bailey, in presenting the details of the research, disclosed that non-school days had the highest percentage of crashes. Meanwhile, the first quarter of each year is recorded as having the highest number of child road traffic fatalities for the years 2010 to 2017. High figures were also recorded in the third quarter, followed by the last and second quarter, respectively.

Dr. Bailey said from 2010 to 2017 the cumulative quarterly average for child road traffic fatalities was 32.

Onyka Barrett Scott, acting general manager of the JN Foundation, said that the organisation endorsed the research because of its crucial importance to understanding and solving some critical factors driving loss of life on the nation’s roadways.

She noted that the information will be used to implement “X Marks the Spot,” the Crosswalk Road Safety Campaign and that selected educational institutions will benefit from any of a number of interventions including bus lay-bys; pedestrian gates; as well as, the widening and paving of sidewalks.

She pointed out that Hazard Primary School, in Clarendon, will be the first beneficiary of the campaign.

“We are happy to be implementing the X Marks the Spot Crosswalk Campaign, as we see major benefits, not only for our nation’s children, but also the communities in which our members reside,” she added.
Meanwhile, Senator Floyd commended the JN Foundation and UNICEF for their support of the research, which he said, will be beneficial to citizens and the country.
The research was conducted over a 10 week period, and the Report focuses mainly on child road safety in Jamaica and particularly the implications for school children.
Sources included the weekly and monthly crash reports published by the Road Safety Unit of the Ministry of Transport and Mining; Crash Spot reports and maps published by the Mona GeoInformatics Institute; the 216 National School geographic data from the Ministry of Education’s Statistical Department; the JN Foundation’s in-house data; information from UNICEF; and from other multilateral support agencies.
In 2015, the World Health Organisation estimated that 1.25 million people are killed, while 50 million sustained non-fatal injuries, annually. Of this number, some 15 per cent were child fatalities; and others suffered long term, or permanent physical disabilities, dismemberment and scars.
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) maintains that road traffic injuries are estimated to be the eighth leading cause of death globally, and the leading cause of death among young people aged 15–29 years old.

Contact:  Dionne Rose l JN Corporate Communications

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House or car? Which should I buy first?

Many a young person have undoubtedly asked themselves at some point whether they should buy a house first, or a car.
And it’s a question which usually elicits strong and passionate discussions in the financial empowerment seminars she hosts across the country, says Rose Miller, grants manager at JN Foundation.

“This is a common concern and a question I receive all the time. There are many schools of thought and opinions on the matter but there are really no right or wrong answers. Need, ability and opportunity would be some key motivators,” she tells the Jamaica Observer.

Miller notes that many people choose to buy the car first because it’s more affordable, which means saving for the down payment is easier.

“[But] as young people focus on their goals, their decisions shouldn’t be based on what is easiest. The watchwords must be ‘priority’ and ‘necessity’; not what is ‘cheaper’ or ‘more fashionable’,” she advises.

In fact, Miller says there are two key priorities which should precede the house or car — educational and/or career advancement, and settling debt.

“Are there any educational goals you would like to attain? Did you leave school with proper certification, or with the grades you really wanted? Those are questions to consider,” she advises. “If you didn’t graduate with requisite, competitive or marketable qualifications, then continuing your education should be a key focus.”

“Now, if you left school with proper qualifications then your priority at this point would be to ensure you settle any outstanding debt used to acquire this training. This will help you to build a good credit rating, which will come in handy when it’s time to secure the loan for a car or a mortgage for a home.”

As it pertains to purchasing a car, Miller points out that young people should make their decision based on whether or not it will be a financial asset, rather than solely on the challenges of public transportation.

“For example, do you need it for your job? There are some jobs, such as sales representatives, that require a reliable motor vehicle to effectively carry out work functions. In other words, is the car necessary to earn your income?”

“Can you use this car to facilitate an entrepreneurial venture utilising a skill or even tap into rental opportunities? The unit will then be more of an asset [that is]: fuelling your journey to financial independence rather than a liability — which is in effect a hindrance to that journey.”

In respect to homeownership, Miller says that while it should always be on their radar, it doesn’t have to be at the top of the list for young graduates during the first few years of their financial development.

“Homeownership is of great economic and social value, and a house, and real estate, in general, has over time proven to be a solid investment…[but] at this point your goal should be to create a solid financial platform on which you can build everything else. This should include an emergency fund consisting of at least six months’ living expenses,” she advises.

As they build that platform, Miller says it is advisable that, if possible, young graduates consider living at home with their parents for a few years.

“If you have saved enough for the down payment on a house and are in a position to comfortably make the monthly payments, then a house could also be seen as a means to gain additional income.

“However, if you are renting, then assess how much you are paying for rent and whether that money could be better put towards a mortgage. Also, you could reduce your cost for rent by sharing an apartment with room-mates and save the deposit to purchase a house.”

See the orginal article here!

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