Showing posts with label Trelawny. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trelawny. Show all posts

Friday, 6 March 2015

Jamaica's Relatively High Road Fatality Rate...Revisited!

Just over a month ago, I wrote an article entitled Jamaica's Relatively High Road Fatality Rate, And Preventive Measures; the estimated road fatalities in 2014 were approximately 330. The officials aim to have this figure at 240 or fewer in 2015 and beyond. However, the officials may have difficulties achieving this target.

To see why, at least 56 individuals have been killed on our roads since January 1st. If we continue at this pace, the dreaded 300+ figure may be on the cards. March is not looking good either. On Sunday March 1st, 2015, four foreign nationals were along the Braco section of the north coast highway in Trelawny. Subsequently, two young females were killed in the parish of Clarendon.

Mangled car along the Braco main road in Trelawny. Source of image: OTGNR

Braco Crash And Ensuing Debate

As stated above, four foreign nationals were killed along the Braco section of the north coast highway, three Dominican nationals and a Spanish national. They were employed at the Gran Bahia Principe hotel in St Ann.

Following the tragic accident, concerns have been raised about the aforementioned stretch of road. Carvel Stewart, president of the incorporated masterbuilders association of Jamaica (IMAJ), evinces that polishing of the Braco road surface is taking place. Mr. Stewart surmise friction of the road surface has been reduced (making the road prone to skidding), largely attributable to inferior material and prolong wearing of the surface.

In light of the tragedy, a meeting involving stakeholders is planned for Monday March 1, 2015, as expressed in an article entitled Meeting planned after horrifying Trelawny crash. However, not discounting the surface of the road, it seem as if speeding played a significant role in the crash.

The Role Of Speeding In Crashes

It is generally accepted that speeding plays a major role in road crashes, add to that improper overtaking. Jamaica is often given the moniker "land of speed", unfortunately, excessive speeding has taken numerous lives on our roads.

Juxtaposed to a car travelling at 50kmph (31mph), a car travelling at 100kmph (62mph) has four times more energy; this can be seen using the formula of motion, Kinetic energy = 1/2MV^2; mass remains constant, however, the velocity is squared, I will give examples with a car of mass 1500kg; Ke = 1/2*1500*50^2; Ke =  1.875*10^6N (for a car traveling at 50kmph); Ke = 1/2*1500*100^2; Ke = 7.5*10^6N (for a car traveling at 100kmph).

Essentially, a car traveling at 100kmph has an exponential probability to do work/result in damage, vis a vis a car travelling at 50kmph.

Seat Belts And Airbags

A chronic problem in Jamaica is not wearing of seatbelts. It is often seen as a toy, especially in public passenger vehicles. Sometimes seat belts are faulty, or non-existent. However, seatbelts and airbags are often the difference between life and death during a collision. These devices keep an individual from being thrown from a vehicle, and gradually dissipates energy.


Various studies suggest that Jamaica has a behavioral problem when it comes to road usage; excessive speeding, not wearing of seatbelts, etc. These behavioral problems may take a generation to fix. But in the short term, greater enforcement of traffic laws are needed. Additionally, the new road traffic bill should be promulgated in parliament with alacrity. Plus, I want to urge motorists and pedestrians to use roads with caution.

It likely that I will revisit topic going forward. Thanks for stopping by!


Seat Belts And Airbags, Advice on safety, Safe ride.

Road surface retexturing processes, Idiots' guide to highways maintenance

Bahia mourns as 4 staffers perish in Trelawny crash, Jamaica Gleaner.