90 per cent of motorcycle fatalities were not wearing a helmet
Nine in every 10 cyclists who die as a result of road crashes were not wearing helmets. The shocking data was revealed by Dr Lucien Jones, vice chair of the National Road Safety Council, at a project steering committee held recently at the offices of the JN Foundation on Belmont Road in Kingston.
"Our data show that 90 per cent of motorcyclists who died on our roads were not wearing a helmet. The helmet use is not very high [in Jamaica]," said Jones at the meeting of the National Helmet Wearing Coalition Project.
At least 300 persons have died in motor vehicle crashes since the start of the year. Two of the latest fatalities involved a motorcyclist and a pillion rider who died after crashing along the Orange Bay main road in Portland last Friday night. According to the police, the driver was doing a 'wheelie' when he lost control of the motorcycle which crashed into a palm tree. Both the driver and the pillion rider died as a result of the crash.
Data from the Road Traffic Unit indicate that motorcyclists account for 97 or thirty-three per cent of the road users killed as of September 29.
Dr Terry Smith, principal scientist at Galeatus LLC, based in the United States, presented compelling evidence of the life-saving potential of helmets. He said they play a pivotal role in reducing fatalities.
"If we can get helmets on their heads, we can start to make a difference," Smith said.