25/06/2018 – Jamaica Gleaner. / Hazard Primary School in Clarendon will benefit from improvements to its road infrastructure with enhanced safety for students commuting to the educational institution.
The upgrading will be implemented by the JN Foundation, in collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the FIA Foundation. Under the project, X Marks the Spot, a crosswalk road-safety campaign, the school will benefit from the erection of signage for bus lay-bys and pedestrian gates, as well as the widening and paving of sidewalks.
Winsome Atkinson, acting principal at Hazard Primary, said she was elated that her school was the first to be selected by the campaign and welcomed the planned work to improve the safety of students and adults.
“We appreciate that JN Foundation thought about Hazard because we are actually midway between Mineral Heights and May Pen town. Therefore, we are located along a busy thoroughfare.
I’m happy because it will improve the safety of our students,” she said.
Atkinson said that the school had experienced several accidents at its gate, though to date, none have been fatal. “I know that the proposed improvements will enhance safety for our children and the members of our community,” she pointed out.
Onyka Barrett Scott, acting general manager of the JN Foundation, said that the work at Hazard Primary School was being facilitated under a broader initiative, the Child Road Traffic Injuries Prevention (CRTIP) project, to address the road safety crisis in Jamaica and that the X Marks the Spot campaign falls under CRTIP.
“The CRTIP intervention seeks to improve the safety of children travelling on the roads, particularly near to or on their way to schools, through research, advocacy and evidence-based interventions,” she explained.
Elements of the X Marks the Spot Campaign include conducting a baseline assessment to determine the state of road safety within chosen school zones, infrastructure assessment, upgrading of a number of features aimed at improving safety around the school, and advocacy.
The projected school improvement should be completed for school resumption in September. “We are indeed happy to be implementing the X Marks the Spot crosswalk campaign as we see clear benefit not only for our nation’s children, but also the communities in which our members reside,” she added.
Over the past two years, more than 40 children have lost their lives due to road traffic crashes in Jamaica. In 2017, 320 people died from accidents on our roads, of which six per cent was children.