MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Communications manager at the National Works Agency (NWA) Stephen Shaw says there needs to be a widespread change in how pedestrians utilise the nation’s roads and adhere to road safety measures.
Shaw, in addressing concerns regarding the implementation of a traffic management system in Mandeville, expected to be completed by July, said the “the issue of children and adults and the way how they use the road is a live issue”.
“This kind of change, when we do traffic management work the way that we are doing it here [Mandeville], it is really an exercise in behaviour change because persons will have to modify their behaviour — because if you don’t modify your behaviour you may end up dead. We don’t want that,” he told an audience of business leaders at a town hall meeting at Manchester Golf Club last Thursday.
The town hall, organised by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, was to address concerns over the implementation of the $70-million project.
Among the roads and intersections to be signalised under the project are North Race Course Road to Main Street, North Race Course Road to Caledonia Road, Villa Road to Main Street, South Race Course Road, Caledonia Road, Park Crescent, Manchester Road, Perth Road, and Greenvale Road.
Shaw said public education about road safety is vital.
“That is why the conversation here now will be followed by more conversations. We will have to go into the schools. We will have to talk to the children and hope that the children will get their parents to not do that which is wrong,” he said.
Shaw, in responding to concerns about some children failing to use pedestrian crossings, resulting in congestion in Mandeville, said adults are also at fault.
“It is not just the children, it is the adults. Time and time again we see adults literally pulling, dragging the pickney dem across the road when there is a pedestrian crossing less than five feet away,” he said.
NWA officials at the town hall said pedestrian crossings and crosswalks are to be implemented as part of the traffic management system, particularly on Caledonia Road.
Shaw said traffic cameras are among the infrastructure being installed.
“The signals are timed…. When we put cameras at these different points it is really for us to monitor the traffic and how people are using the road and [so that we can] be in a position to change the timings remotely. There are other spin-offs from us placing the cameras there. One obvious one is the benefit to the police in terms of monitoring certain activities; and [regarding] where we are now going, we do have licence plate-recognition cameras,” he said.