Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer
Sunday, a hallowed day for many Jamaicans, is turning out to be one of the deadliest for motorists, according to figures from the Road Safety Unit (RSU) at the Ministry of Transport and Works.
Of the 238 deaths recorded in Jamaica to date this year, 52 occurred on a Sunday. Sunday was also not a good day for motorists in 2009, as 45 road fatalities were recorded.
RSU statistics show Mondays running second with 39 deaths. It was also second to Sunday in 2009 with 38 deaths.
The most publicised of the Sunday road deaths took place on October 24 along Spanish Town Road where 65-year-old Bernice Gray and her 51-year-old friend Elser Stone were killed.
They were standing at a bus stop when a motorcar crashed into them. Gray was killed instantly, while Stone died at hospital.
Dr Lucien Jones of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), said the RSU third-quarter figures were not encouraging. He told Automotives that the gains made in the first half of the year have been hit by the deaths of pedestrians like Gray and Stone in the last three months.
"We are quite worried about the trend, it's bad compared to the first two quarters," he said.
Jones said the NRSC and the police plan to increase patrols in areas where accidents involving pedestrians occur. These locations include Spanish Town Road, Hagley Park Road to Spanish Town Road, Washington Boulevard and the Sandy Bay, Clarendon, leg of Highway 2000.
Despite aggressive campaigning, the NRSC and RSU have not realised their goal of getting road fatalities under the 300 mark. This has not been achieved since 1995 when 295 deaths were recorded.
In its previous report, the RSU figures showed August as the only month that had more road deaths compared to 2009. Nineteen deaths were tallied in September, the same as the previous year.
October also saw a minor jump in fatalities with 22 deaths, one more than the same period last year.
Last year, 347 persons were killed on Jamaican roads.