Highlights of the 4th UN Global Road Safety Week 2017

  • Zoleka Mandela grand-daughter of Nelson Mandela speaking at the #SlowItDown Event at the Office of the Prime Minister.
  • The Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Lester 'Mike' Henry (right) and Special Envoy for Road Safety Jean Tdot (left) having a friendly chat.
  • Yohan Blake 2x Olympian signing the Slow It Down pledge at the #SlowItDown Event at the Office of the Prime Minister, Kingston,Jamaica.
  • Jonelle Sharpe of the Road Safety Unit within the Ministry of Transport and Mining educating the Bethlehem All Age student on the topic of Road Safety.

The Fourth United Nations (UN) Road Safety Week will be commemorated from May 8-14 2017, and Jamaica will be participating in this week of activities as we again bring road safety issues to the forefront. This is an affirmation by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) of its unyielding commitment to encouraging safety on our roadways for all Jamaicans – including you the children – the future leaders of our country.

Under the theme “Save lives - #slowdown”, the focus this year is on reaching out to drivers to manage their speed to avoid injuries and deaths. The #slowdown campaign operates on the principles of the Decade of Action for Road Safety which was implemented in 2011 by the UN with an objective of attaining  a 50% reduction in projected road fatalities from 2011-2020.

As chairman of the NRSC, I use this opportunity to call on every student to take personal responsibility for his or her safety. Too many lives have been lost as a result of negligence, and too few people are taking this as seriously as they ought to. Despite the many appeals from the NRSC and the police for drivers to be safe on the road, during the recent Easter weekend, Jamaica recorded the second highest fatalities since 2001 – a figure that was only topped by those in 2008. Over this period, 10 Jamaicans lost their lives. 

The 4th United Nations Global Road Safety Week of activities for 2017 further highlights the fact that the world is grappling with the carnage on the roads: crashes, injuries and deaths.

This undoubtedly affects the socio-economic fabric of member states. Approximately 1.2 million persons are killed annually on the global road network. This means that over 3,000 persons are being killed on a daily basis globally.

Not only is this statistics startling, but every 3 minutes a child is killed on the global road network. Close to 50 million persons are injured annually, as a result of traffic crashes, which for the most part could have been easily prevented if persons were acting responsibly in the traffic environment.

But let me take you to our own back yard. Jamaica as we speak has recorded 110 fatalities needlessly on the road network in 124 days.

I am extremely concerned, because when the data is analysed, Human Behaviour is playing a significant role in the mayhem on the road network.


Today is a great day in the Globe’s road safety history. The Road Safety Superpower of the Caribbean Region has positioned herself as a serious road safety nation and in light of the fact that excessive speeding is one of the dominant reason why One hundred and ten (110) persons have been killed, the United Nations theme “Slow Down” is quite appropriate but our Honourable Minister tasked us to ensure that our people understand the profound need to be Responsible in the Traffic Environment.



  • Church Services
  • Tarrant Baptist Church (10.00am); and
  • Riverside United Church (10.30am)
  • Slow Down Day – May 8, 2017 at Emancipation Park
  • Road Safety Presentations
  • Road Safety Social Media Campaign - Ongoing
  • Global Road Safety – Special Feature Event – May 10, 2017
  • JIS Think Tank – May 9, 2017
  • School Exposition – May 8-12, 2017
  • Townhall Meeting – May 12, 2017
  • Road Safety Jingle
  • Honouring of the School Wardens
  • May 8-12, 2017
  • Eastwood Gardens – Traffic Calming Measures
  • May 13, 2017
  • Go over into Road Safety Month
  • On the Road…Road Safety Outreach
  • May 6-7, 2017
  • May 11-12, 2017

The need for Speed Reduction is knocking home very swiftly as we are now able to know definitely whether persons were operating their motor vehicle in a speeding, swerving or overtaking manner, thanks to the Black Box which are now in every vehicle that is equipped with an airbag. We see impact speeds as low as between 38.5 kph to as high as 109 kph whereby there was a Vehicle- Pedestrian confrontation that causes Pedestrians to be killed.


A critical component of the United Nations Global Road Safety Week is to #Slow Down by ensuring that the following measures are implemented because they have proven quite successfully in reducing road deaths.

§  Building or modifying roads to include features that calm traffic;

§  Establishing speed limits to the function of each road;

§  Enforcing speed limits;

§  Installing in-vehicle technologies; and

§  Raising awareness about the dangers of speeding.


One of the things that we must do with alacrity is to profoundly protect our pedestrians from the rapacious effect from a speeding motor vehicle because all it takes to give pedestrians an untimely death is 30 kph much less 109 kph.



As we celebrate the United Nations Global Road Safety Week, let us do it for our pedestrians and ensure that in areas where they are located, we don’t have persons travelling above 30 kph as the human body was never designed to deal with the amount of energy.