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Jamaica: Slow down and live – Holness

That was the simple but profound appeal from Prime Minister Andrew Holness to Jamaican road users on Thursday amid the grim forecast that between 435 and an unprecedented high of 472 commuters could be killed by year end.

Holness, chairman of the National Road Safety Council, made the disclosure during the launch of events to mark this year’s observance of the United Nations Global Road Safety Week.

With road deaths already at 149 for the first four months of the year, the carnage on the streets has trended ahead of the figures for the corresponding period for 2020.

The country is now recording an average of one road death every 18 hours, according to head of the Mona Informatics Institute, Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr.

Since 2012 when the country recorded 260 road deaths, casualties did not dip below 300 for the remainder of the decade.

The year 2019 hit a gruesome milestone of 440 crash deaths, with a marginal decrease last year to 424.

“These are unacceptably high numbers and we are already seeing an alarming trend for this year … ,” the prime minister said.

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