Jamaica News: Students of Hazard Primary School in Clarendon will shortly benefit from road improvement, under the Jamaica National (JN) Foundation ‘X Marks the Spot’ Road Safety Campaign.
These include a pedestrian crossing, bus lay-by and sidewalks to ensure the safety of children at the school.
The campaign was developed based on the findings of a report commissioned by the JN Foundation, which found that child pedestrians represent the most vulnerable group of road users.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, and Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Hon. Mike Henry, said the improvements being made to the school are critical.
The Minister was speaking to JIS News following a briefing with stakeholders involved in the campaign, at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston, on October 17.
He noted that it takes into consideration the protection of the disabled community and prevents the haphazard setting down and picking up of students at the school.
“The students will more than benefit. What was there was a hodgepodge of the way things were not supposed to be done. [People] would drop off anywhere, pick up anywhere and cross anywhere.
So, this is a step in the right direction in the continuity of development,” he said.
Implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UK-registered charity, the FIA Foundation and other partners, the campaign is expected to last for approximately three years.
It will include approximately 18 schools in total, which will likely benefit from the same interventions as Hazard Primary or based on needs. It will be funded at a cost of approximately $135 million.
Quality Education Specialist with UNICEF, Dr. Rebecca Tortello Greenland, said as part of the implementation of the project at Hazard Primary, consultations were held with students, teachers and the community.
She said once completed, the school’s safety ratings will improve significantly.
Meanwhile, JN Foundation Grants Manager, Rose Miller, said Hazard Primary School was chosen, because “we believed we could make a tremendous impact there because of the safety measures implemented”.
She said that the JN Foundation likes to align itself to programmes that “seek to bring a resolution” to certain challenges, and the road-safety campaign is one that does.
“We want to empower both motorist and pedestrian to raise the awareness of children to use the corridors correctly. We believe that will assist with many of the challenges we face on our roads,” she said.
Mrs. Miller indicated that in a previous study conducted on domestic violence and road safety, it was identified that the cost of care totalled millions of dollars and had a negative effect on the country.
“If we were able to use the roads better, then we would not have so many crashes, and we would not be spending all of this money to take care of persons who have had accidents,” she said.
Source: JIS News