NRSC Records Most Successful Motorcyclist Training To Date Set To Officially Open New Motorcycle Training Facility in Westmoreland

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Troy Rose fidgeted in his spot, his eyes intense, and his voice noticeably
lowered a few octaves from his hearty laughter that rang out in the afternoon air just seconds earlier.
The painful story he was about to relate has been permeating his mind the past two weeks, as a
poignant reminder of the fragility of life as a motorcyclist. In the blink of an eye, his best friend’s life was
snuffed out when his motorcycle slammed into a truck as he maneuvered an improper overtaking.
A pillion passenger on the back of the motorcycle sustained numerous injuries and was rushed to
hospital, but his long-time friend was gone. “The suicide riding is not necessary,” said Rose, a resident of
Waterworks, Westmoreland as he reflected on the crash. “I’ve been riding for over 19 years, and been in
a few crashes because of no fault of my own but thankfully it was never anything to take my life. A me
say safe travel pon di gravel, remember seh bike nuh done mek yet.”
A chef by profession, Rose is one of 48 motorcyclists who turned out at the Petersfield Vocational
Training Centre in Westmoreland on Sunday, August 9, for a Motorcycle Outreach and Training
Programme organised by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) in collaboration with its member
organisations. The programme is funded by the Ministry of National Security, under the LivGud initiative,
with support from HEART NSTA Trust.

All revved up! From left, Troy Rose, a chef from Waterworks in Westmoreland joins his
fellow bikers for a photo op at the Motorcycle Outreach and Training Programme organised by
the National Road Safety Council (NRSC). Sharing in the moment are (from left) Dwayne
Williams, Kyle Holness, and Durmark Hardie, who participated in the first day of the two-part
event at the Petersfield Vocational Training Centre in Westmoreland.

The Security Ministry has also funded the construction and establishment of a new Motorcycle Training
Facility at the Petersfield Vocational Training Centre which will be officially opened on Sunday.
An increasing number of motorcycles in the island has led to an uptick in road crashes and fatalities
among motorcyclists, and this new sensitization and training programme is aimed at alleviating the
problem by tackling the most affected parishes, Westmoreland, Hanover, St. James, and St. Elizabeth.
Since the start of the year 79 motorcyclists have died on the nation’s roads. This group represents 32%
of the total 249 fatalities. To date 31 less motorcyclists have died when compared to the same period
for 2019. This represents an 11% decrease for the comparative period. In Westmoreland alone, there
have been over 40 fatal collisions since the start of the year, and 23 of those include motorcyclists.

Record Highest Attendance
Under the slogan “I’m a safe biker – life matters”, the programme initially targeted 45 motorcyclists for
training and sensitization workshops. However, the promotional push from the NRSC ramped up
awareness for the event, and on launch day, the numbers quickly exceeded the full capacity of the
training room and the space required for COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions. The excess turnout
meant some motorcyclists were redirected and pre-registered for future sessions.
The two-part programme launched on Sunday, August 9 and wraps up on Sunday August 16. It will
provide crucial information on the road code, life-saving benefits of using protective gear,
demonstrations on operating a motorcycle effectively, changing the culture of impaired motorcycle
driving, and live testimonials from road crash victims.

Safety First! As the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) and its partners prepared for the
launch of the two-part Motorcycle Outreach and Training Programme, the team was keen to
observe their physical distancing. From left are Victor Anderson, Programme Coordinator,
Below 300, NRSC; Jason Stewart, Data Entry Office, Road Safety Unit; Paula Fletcher, Executive
Director, NRSC; and Donald Henry, Acting Director, Island Traffic Authority.

Dianne McIntosh, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of National Security, said that the outreach and
training programme is an important investment in protecting Jamaicans on the nation’s roads. “We are
investing in the resources and programmes to protect our most vulnerable road users. One fatality is
one too many. These social intervention programmes are our way of showing that we’re serious about
sustainable improvements in road safety. Now, it’s up to the motorcyclists to play their part.”
Western Jamaica accounts for 50% of Motorcyclist Fatalities
Speaking at the event, Paula Fletcher, Executive Director of the NRSC said the western end of the island
accounts for 50 per cent of the bikers who have died in Jamaica. “Fifty per cent of those who die are
your family, friends or neighbours and the majority of them, over 90% were not wearing helmets. Who
is next?” questioned Fletcher as she delivered a hard-hitting message to the participants. “It all depends
on the choices you make. You are the ones who’ll determine if you live, if you don’t live, or if you live
with debilitating injuries.

Andrew Malcolm, a biker for over 24 years receives his participant t-shirt from Mauvalee
Robinson-Barnett, Head of Training, HEART NSTA Trust. The occasion was the launch of a
two-part Motorcycle Outreach and Training Programme organised by the National Road Safety
Council (NRSC) at the Petersfield Vocational Training Centre in Westmoreland.

Inspector Gregory Hall, Sub-officer in charge of Traffic and Patrol, Westmoreland Division said
indiscipline among motorcyclists has been the main challenge in the parish. The event, he said, is a
welcome change in outreach. “This is the first event of this form that I’ve seen. We have numerous other
initiatives in an effort to curb the rate of collisions, especially fatal collisions among motorists. I’m
impressed with the presentations, and I’m extremely optimistic of the end results.” he said. “Something
different needed to be done to try to stem the rate at which motorcyclists are dying in Westmoreland
and the western end of the island.”
As the day’s events came to a close on Sunday, 20 motorcyclists aced the practical cone maneuvers led
by the expert Jamaica Constabulary Force motorcycle trainers. Each earned bragging rights among their
peers, and can now proceed to the next steps in obtaining their motorcycle driver’s license.

The contingent of ‘safe bikers’ who participated in day one of the two-part Motorcycle
Outreach and Training Programme organised by the National Road Safety Council (NRSC). The
programme is funded by the Ministry of National Security, with support from HEART NSTA
Trust, and in collaboration with other entities including the Road Safety Unit, Police Traffic HQ,
Island Traffic Authority, the Insurance Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Automobile


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