Fatalities increase after roads are fixed
Residents of Mountainside in St Elizabeth are happy that their plea for improvement to the road network in their community has finally become a reality, but their new-found joy has also been a source of much pain as several residents have since lost their lives along the newly paved thoroughfare.
"Since the road was fixed, about five of our community members have been killed [because they were] going too fast. When they had to take their time on the bad road, this was not happening because they had potholes to deal with, but now [that] they have smooth road, they behaving like is Dover racetrack," said one resident, who was seated among a group of persons in the community square when Western STAR visited recently.
"I am upset with the police because a lot of these accidents can be prevented. All you need is the police presence because no motorist likes getting ticketed."
The residents claim that Mountainside has many motorcyclists, some operating illegally. However, they also contend that the police need to prosecute other users of the road.
When contacted Superintendent Catherine Lord, who is head of the division, said that the initiatives in Mountainside are strategic and will continue. She also promised increased dialogue with members of the community.
EFFORTS BEING MADE
"As a division, we are making every effort to ensure the safety and security of all residents of and visitors to the parish," Lord said via email.
"We are trying to guard against fatal accidents in Mountainside, which is home for perhaps hundreds of motorbikes."
Lord argued that 321 persons died tragically in Jamaica last year, 107 of who were motorcyclists. She said that of that amount, St Elizabeth was responsible for 21 such fatalities eight bikers and two passengers.
Since the start of the year, St Elizabeth has recorded five road fatalities three motorcyclists and two pedestrians but none took place in Mountainside.
"That's more than enough reason for us to pay particular attention to motorcyclists in our division," she said, while noting that she is ready to review her team's operational activities based on the concerns raised by the residents in Mountainside.