A Region Stepping up to the Road Safety Challenge
5th IRF Caribbean Regional Congress
Close to 100 participants from a host of Caribbean nations have reaffirmed a vision for roads free from death & serious injury.
Returning to Montego Bay, Jamaica, IRF’s 5th Caribbean Regional Congress was dominated this year by discussions focused on reducing injury risk through coordinated action by public and private sector stakeholders.
Many of Jamaica’s government departments with a role in achieving this vision were present on the occasion, including the Ministries of Transport and Mining; Economic Growth and Job Creation; Health; Local Government and Community Development, as well as specialized agencies in charge of national works, and road maintenance.
In his keynote address, Minister of Transport & Mining the Hon. Lester ‘Mike’ Henry, CD, MP, recalled the value of IRF’s regional gathering of roads and transportation professionals, held every year since 2012. ‘This Congress is the only one for the Region and your commitment to this task is greatly appreciated’, he noted. Noting the goals and timeline of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, he stressed the importance for Caribbean countries, such as Jamaica, to make a profound impact in reducing road traffic injuries, crashes and fatalities by introducing well-tried techniques such as safety audits and inspections of the road network, as also encouraged by IRF.
Lastly, the Minister called for the establishment of a designated “Road Safety Fund for Caribbean Countries” to ensure that nations are able to implement the road safety measures that would arrest the prevalence of traffic crashes through the requisite Road Safety Management processes, such as the ones that already exist in the best-performing countries.