Jamaica News: Motorcyclists will have to be properly trained and certified in order to operate on the nation’s roadways.
The measure is a provision under the new Road Traffic Act, for which the regulations are being drafted.
Executive Director of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), Paula Fletcher, told JIS News that previously, only a learner’s permit was required for persons to legally operate a motorcycle.
“This allowed for them to drive forever on a learner’s permit and not to move it from that stage to certification, as is the case with a driver of a motor vehicle. So, that loophole has been blocked. They will have to be certified,” she said.
As part of the certification process, persons will have to pass a written road code test. Mrs. Fletcher said that this requirement is essential as it will ensure that motorcycle operators understand the “language of the road”.
“First time, you could go with your identification, and if you are at a certain age, you could get your permit. Now, you have to satisfy not just the age requirement, you now also have to pass the road code test to ensure that you can do a little reading before you operate a motorbike,” she pointed out.
“Just like motor-vehicle drivers, they will have to pass the road code. When the regulations take effect, that is what will be required,” she added.
Mrs. Fletcher is appealing to motorcyclists to exercise caution on the roads in order to reduce fatalities.
She said there has been a 100 per cent increase in motorcycle road fatalities since the start of the year.
“We are going in entirely the wrong direction. There is no other category where we have seen such a drastic increase,” she said.
The Ministry of Transport and Mining’s Traffic Crash Update reveals that 30 of the 101 persons who have died in road accidents up to March 27 were motorcyclists.
Motorcyclists account for 30 per cent of road users killed in fatal crashes since the start of the year.
Source: JIS News