The Ministry of Transport and Mining is looking to make greater use of technology in enforcing the road rules and improving road safety.
Permanent Secretary, Dr. Alwin Hales, said that the Ministry recently submitted a framework to Cabinet for the electronic enforcement of the traffic laws.
He said the use of technology will significantly reduce the burden placed on members of the security forces; serve as a deterrent against traffic violations and increase efficiency in identifying violators; and enhance revenue from ticket collection.
“We can also use that technology to collect a lot of data about what is happening on our roads. It will help to deal with the problems and the shortcomings that we have with enforcement, and we look forward to implementing it as early as possible,” he added.
Dr. Hales was addressing the inaugural Caribbean Road Safety Workshop in Jamaica held at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in St. Andrew on Thursday (Aug. 8).
Meanwhile, he said that the introduction of a new Island Traffic Authority under the new Road Traffic Act will serve to improve traffic management.
“The authority is going to take full charge of the management of traffic on our roads from a road safety perspective and also from the education perspective. It will also be responsible for ensuring, from the engineering perspective, that all road designs have road safety considerations embedded in them,” Dr. Hales said.
He noted that the Ministry has already started the appointment of members of the Island Traffic Authority Board, which will make the body more autonomous.
“So, it will have an authority that exists by virtue of the legislation, and it will also be guided by [the] Director General and the staff that will report to the Director General. The authority will have some significant responsibilities. It will allow us to deal with some of the disjointed responsibilities that now exist,” he said.
Since the start of the year, 269 persons have lost their lives in 244 road crashes across the island. Of this number, motorcyclists account for the highest demographic with 82 persons; followed by pedestrians with 66 fatalities.
The Caribbean Road Safety Workshop was co-organised by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (CEPAL), the IDB and the Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).