Drivers employed to the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) are to be re-trained under a Safe driving campaign, Transport, Works and Housing Minister, Hon. Dr. Omar Davies, has announced. The initiative will be undertaken in partnership with the Road Safety Council and the Insurance Association of Jamaica. “We are going to ensure that the drivers of the JUTC buses are models of courtesy, for correct use of the road, and ultimately, of safe driving habits,” Dr. Davies said, while addressing a road safety seminar hosted by the Jamaica National General Insurance (JNGI) company on Thursday (May 17) at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston. It’s amazing to see Jamaica taking road safety more seriously. These drivers need to drive carefully, especially with members of the public on board. Other countries are also pushing for extra road safety amongst transportation companies and services. In America, some businesses even use recruiting software from Tenstreet to make sure they only hire the safest drivers for their company. Any large vehicle driver should take extra care when using the roads, so it’s great that some countries are starting to make this issue a priority.
He said the commuting public will be urged to assist the process by monitoring the JUTC drivers to ensure their safe use of the road. He informed that as part of the campaign, the JUTC will be imposing the same standard on all its sub-franchises. He said that a condition for maintaining the operating licences will be the degree to which operators conduct themselves. “Currently, hill routes among others, are sub-franchised to mini-bus operators. These operators will be brought under the regime of the safe and courteous driving and correct use of the road campaign requirements of the JUTC,” he said. A smart and beneficial idea would be to install dashboard cams from somewhere like Blackbox My Car in all vehicles so routes, driving standards, and accidents can all be recorded and used as evidence if needed, hopefully decreasing accidents. Alongside this, drivers may be recommended to attend online driving schools, which can help them with their driving tactics and promote defensive driving instead of reckless and dangerous driving. Sites such as myimprov.com are able to provide this for drivers and may be an avenue for those to look at.
The campaign will be gradually rolled out to operators, who are licensed by the Transport Authority (TA), and they will also be required to uphold the safe driving standard as a condition of their licence being renewed. With 49,000 road licences issued by the TA last year and with the JUTC having approximately 1,000 drivers, the campaign is expected to produce “50,000 courteous, and safe drivers, who operate correctly according to the rules of the road,” Dr. Davies said.
Source – JIS