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Call for pedestrian education programme

MONTEGO BAY – The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for a programme aimed at educating pedestrians on the proper usage of the roadway in that resort city.

“It is imperative that they embark on a public education drive on the correct use of our roadways by pedestrians. We think this will certainly save some lives and result in fewer accidents,” said MBCCI president Davon Crump.

Crump was speaking against the background of complaints from motorists about absent-minded pedestrians who are making a mockery of the $55million traffic management system that was introduced in the resort city of Montego Bay almost three years ago to make the streets there safer.

Speaking to the need for an ongoing public education programme to sensitise pedestrians to observe traffic lights and other safety features, Crump said, he is fearful that people might be seriously injured or even killed “because they cross at any time, any place, even when the light is on green”.

Eight-four pedestrians died in the island last year, as a result of 82 fatal pedestrian crashes.

The parish of St. James accounted for 10 of those pedestrians who were killed.

Crump, in an interview earlier this week emphasised that the education programme should begin in the schools.

“We must start in the schools to educate about the correct ways to use our roadways. Right now we have children and adults alike walking out into traffic dodging vehicles, some moving at very high speeds, with no regard or even noticing whether or not it is safe to do so,” he argued.

“I have witnessed the traffic lights clearly green giving motor vehicles the right of way to move, and the pedestrians also decide that they too have the go ahead to walk out in to the oncoming traffic, the motorists are cursed at and physically abused for not allowing them (the pedestrians) to cross.”

However, in addition to the education campaign Crump wants to see the implementation of a jaywalking law.

“When the pedestrians disobey the signals there should be consequences of fines and punishment to the full extent of such a law (jaywalking). We need to get them to understand that signs and signals, road regulations must be obeyed by all,” he stressed. (Observer)

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