Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, is calling on motorists to look out for children on the roads.
Mr. Henry, who was speaking at the launch of the Jamaica National (JN) Foundation’s ‘X Marks the Spot’ road-safety campaign at the Hazard Primary School in May Pen, Clarendon, on Wednesday (November 7), said that “safeguarding our children ultimately means safeguarding our future”.
Henry told the gathering that the Road Safety Council, which is chaired by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is “very committed” to reducing road fatalities, noting that the issue is a priority of the Government.
He welcomed the JN road-safety project, pointing out that it will go a far way in ensuring the protection of children as they make their way to and from school.
“When parents are assured that their children will get to school safely, they will be more content, and the children will be happier and be able to focus on schoolwork,” Mr. Henry added.
Hazard Primary is the first of 18 schools across the country to benefit from improvements in road infrastructure over the next three years, under the road-safety campaign. These include pedestrian crossings, bus lay-by and sidewalks to ensure the safety of children at the school.
The campaign is being informed by the recently completed Child Safety Assessment report, commissioned by the JN Foundation, which found that child pedestrians represent the most vulnerable group of road users.
The report provided baseline data to improve the safety of children on roads, particularly near, or on their way to school.
It identified specific schools and zones where children are most vulnerable to incidents of road traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities, for the application of infrastructural and or safety interventions at both the physical and social levels.
The project is being implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), and the United Kingdom-based charity FIA Foundation.