Jamaica: Parents, guardians urged to introduce children to road safety

Jamaica Observer:-THE Road Safety Unit is appealing to parents and guardians to introduce their children to road safety training as early as possible.

The unit also wants parents and guardians to invest in the necessary protective devices such as helmets, knee pads and elbow pads for children before allowing them to ride a bicycle.

“Parents and guardians also need to ensure that their children wear seatbelts when travelling in vehicles; small children should be fitted in a child/infant carrier and a booster seat should be used for those who are too old for infant carriers,” the unit said.

The unit, in a release yesterday, said it is particularly important for adults to accompany children, especially those in the age group five to nine years, when they have to venture into the traffic environment since those in that age group do not have a developed appreciation for proper road safety etiquette.

It highlighted the case of a seven-year-old boy who died from injuries he sustained after he was hit by a car in Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Monday evening.

Twenty-one children have been killed in traffic crashes since the start of the year, a 91 per cent increase when compared to the 11 recorded for the similar period in 2015.

The 21 children who have been killed since the start of the year represents a 17 per cent increase, when compared with the 18 children who were killed for the similar period in 2014. The release said 48 per cent of the children killed on the road this year were passengers of private motor vehicles and 24 per cent were pedestrians.

Three hundred and five persons have been killed in 253 fatal crashes this year, a two per cent decrease in fatalities and a 12 per cent drop in fatal crashes, when compared with 2015.