OCHO RIOS, St Ann — Determined to prevent a repeat of the gridlock seen in the streets on Easter weekend in April, the St Ann police have put measures in place to handle the increase i
n traffic expected over the upcoming heroes’ weekend. They have increased operations aimed at minimising congestion and crashes in the parish.
“We started on Tuesday and it will continue throughout the weekend. There is an influx of persons that will be coming in for some form of entertainment during the time of the holiday and we will be looking [at] putting more officers on the street and especially in the areas where the events are being kept,” acting head of the St Ann police, Senior Superintendent David Whyte, told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday.
He said this will be done to ensure the roads and main thoroughfares are safe.
“Mark you, by the end of this week, what you’ll be finding is quite a number of persons will be coming out of Kingston and elsewhere to the tourism area of the parish and so you’ll be seeing heavy traffic by Friday afternoon. But no doubt that we’ll have those police in the space and we’ll have more by the ending of Friday into Saturday morning and into the remainder of the holiday,” he assured.
Noting that there have been a number of crashes in the parish recently, the lawman urged motorists to be extra vigilant at known crash hot spots within the parish.
“When you come into St Ann be careful of your speeding along the Llandovery main road, the Queens Highway. Those are spots where persons normally lose their lives if they drive carelessly. We’re asking those persons partying and coming into the space that you be careful of the amount of alcohol you consume during that period. We’ll be steadfast and we’ll be having zero tolerance with those persons we find speeding along our roadway. You will be prosecuted,” he cautioned.
It is anticipated that starting on Friday, October 14 there will be a plethora of entertainment activities in the resort parish, as there were for Easter. Those heavily attended April events caused a major traffic pile-up in several sections of St Ann. People were stranded for hours and the local authorities and police were flayed for failing to put measures in place ahead of the events. There were questions about why shuttle buses were not used to ferry patrons to and from events and whether the municipal authorities had carefully scrutinised venues to assess their suitability to host events, within the context of the impact on traffic flow.
On Thursday, SSP Whyte said his team is ready for this weekend. In addition to placing additional manpower on the streets, they will also bring in off duty cops to beef up their numbers, he said.