Ten children among 158 killed in road crashes so far this year

Dr. Lucien Jones, Vice Chairman of the National Road Safety Council and Education Minister Fayval Williams
By Kimone Witter    
Ten children have died in road crashes since the start of the year, with the latest being two students of Titchfield High School in Portland on Tuesday.
The students have been identified as Jaquan Wynter of Annotto Bay, St. Mary and Onaje Lindsay, both 14.
Three fatal crashes on Tuesday have brought road fatalities to 158, only one less than the 159 which occurred during the same period last year.
Vice Chair of the National Road Safety Council, Dr. Lucien Jones, says chairman of the NRSC, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and the Pan American Health Organization representative Ian Stein are scheduled to attend Thursday's meeting of the Council. 
Dr. Jones believes the strategies to be discussed should focus on the causes of road crashes. 
"We are hoping that coming out this meeting, we will devise some strategies to make a difference to those on whom the clock is ticking. We can no longer do anything for those who died yesterday or the day before. It's too late. But for those who, for them, time is running out, that would be our main concern. 
"One of the things we have to do is to get past the focus on fatalities, as important as that is, but also place our focus on the number of injuries and the number of fender benders, because if we can get a handle on what is causing the fender benders and get a handle on what is causing the injuries, then we're in a better position to deal with the ultimate goal, which is to prevent this," he reasoned. 
'Avoidable tragedy' 
Meanwhile, Education Minister Fayval Williams, while expressing sorrow at the deaths of the two students from Titchfield High School, has asserted that this tragedy could have been avoided.
Speaking with Radio Jamaica News, Mrs. Williams implored drivers to follow the rules of the road. 
"Families are in mourning. They're grieving. We've lost two Jamaican citizens who are in just the prime of their life. Who knows what these students would become in terms of good citizens and leadership for this country? We want to appeal to all on our streets, to slow down, be careful, obey the rules of the road. They're there for our own protection," she pleaded. 
The Ministry of Education's grief crisis team has been mobilised to provide comprehensive psychosocial support to the affected students, staff, and the surrounding community of Titchfield High.

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