Insurer Applauds Launch of National Helmet Wearing Coalition in Jamaica

May 15, 2024 by

JN General Insurance

Photo Caption: Thomas Smith, Managing Director, JN General Insurance Company

A leading insurance company is commending the JN Foundation, in partnership with the National Road Safety Council and the UK-based FIA Foundation, for the establishment of the National Helmet Wearing Coalition in Jamaica on March 21.

JN General Insurance (JNGI), which views the initiative as a significant step towards enhancing road safety and saving lives, underscored the urgent need to address road safety concerns and implement preventive measures to reduce accidents and fatalities on Jamaican roads.

“The launch of the National Helmet Wearing Coalition aligns with the broader objectives of JNGI to promote responsible behaviour and mitigate risks associated with road use. Through our advocacy for helmet wearing, we actively champion safer roads, thereby playing a key role in safeguarding lives,” said Thomas Smith, Managing Director, JNGI, and road safety advocate.

“Road safety is a collective responsibility, and initiatives such as the Coalition exemplify the power of partnership in effecting positive change,” he added.

The National Helmet Wearing Coalition aims to promote and advocate for the widespread adoption of certified standardised helmet use among motorcyclists and pillion riders across the island. Recognizing the alarming statistics surrounding road accidents and fatalities, particularly among vulnerable road users, the coalition endeavours to raise awareness about the importance of helmet-wearing as a preventive measure.

Mr Smith pointed out that, with road traffic injuries remaining a significant public health concern, advocating for helmet use, will seek to mitigate the risk of head injuries and fatalities, ultimately saving lives and reducing the burden on the healthcare system.

“Every life lost on our roads is one too many. As an insurance provider, we witness firsthand the devastating impact of road crashes. We therefore reinforce our commitment to fostering safer roads,” he said.

Statistics provided by the Road Safety Unit in the Ministry of Transport and Mining show that as of March 26, motorcyclists account for 39 per cent of users killed since the beginning of the year, while pillion passengers account for four per cent of the fatalities.

In addition to helmet-wearing, the insurer recommends that motorcyclists observe the following tips to bolster road safety:

  • Wear Protective Gear: These include gloves and jackets specifically designed for motorcycling. This gear can provide added protection in case of a crash or slide.
  • Maintain Motorcycle: Ensure your motorcycle is properly maintained by checking the brakes, tyres, and lights regularly. A well-maintained motorcycle is safer and performs better on the road.
  • Stay Visible: Wear brightly coloured or reflective clothing to enhance visibility, especially at night. Use reflective tape on motorcycles to improve visibility to other motorists.
  • Obey Traffic Laws: Follow all road laws, including speed limits and traffic signals. Avoid weaving in and out of traffic, and always use turn signals when changing lanes or making turns.
  • Stay Alert and Focused: Remain attentive at all times while riding. Avoid distractions, such as using a mobile phone. Focus on the road ahead for potential hazards, and anticipate the actions of other motorists.
  • Avoid Riding Under the Influence: Never ride a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication that impairs your ability to operate the motorcycle safely. Alcohol and drugs significantly impair reaction time, coordination, and judgement.

“Safe riding habits and staying vigilant on the road can help protect you and others from crashes and injuries,” Mr Smith emphasised.