Deadly roads

Study pinpoints popular highway as country’s worst crash site

THE North Coast Highway is the most deadly stretch of road in Jamaica, accounting for five times more fatal accidents than the Mandela Highway, which is the second deadliest road, a survey by the Mona Geoinformatics Institute has revealed.


<p style="margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-family: Arial, Tahoma, Verdana; line-height: normal; " "="">Stretching from Negril in the west to Port Antonio in the east, the newly constructed highway has, in the last decade, claimed more than 363 lives from 5,614 crashes. Mandela Highway, accounting for 1,940 accidents, recorded at least 63 deaths over the corresponding period, the study revealed.

Spanish Town Road in Kingston is the third deadliest, accounting for at least 52 deaths from 1,940 crashes; while Constant Spring and Old Hope roads in St Andrew rounded off the top five deadliest roads with 2,409 and 777 crashes. The roads recorded 15 and 12 fatal accidents respectively over the period.

Other roads which factored high on the list were Highway 2000, which saw 29 deaths from 502 crashes; Hagley Park Road with 10 deaths from 502 crashes; Marcus Garvey Drive with eight deaths from 736 crashes; and Hope Road with at least five deaths from 842 crashes within the decade.

The findings were revealed at a seminar dubbed 'Intervention to Save Lives on Our Roads', which was put on by the Jamaica National General Insurance (JNGI), formerly NEM Insurance Company, at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Thursday.

The information will aid a JNGI road safety campaign themed "Tek time drive... Arrive alive", which will see the company erecting warning signs and billboards at 'crash hot spots' across the island.

The signs, according to Chris Hind, general manager of JNGI, will serve to "warn road users that bad things will happen if they don't take care," he said.

"Despite multiple intiatives and the dedicated work of many, road crashes remain the second leading cause of violent death in Jamaica, and the risk is especially high for young drivers," continued Hind, describing the JNGI initiative as adding to the much needed public awareness efforts. This is the only way the country will be able to stem its high number of road fatalities, he said.

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