Dangerous driving, unruly supporters marred bus convoys to JLP conference

Pexels Mike B 11985216
Car in auto accident on the roadside. Courtesy of Mike B.

Drivers and passengers aboard JLP provided buses blatantly disobeyed the road code while travelling to the party’s 79th annual conference at the National Arena last Sunday. Supporters from all over the island, donned in their green, were out to the attend the conference which was the first gathering of that nature to be held since the pandemic.

Prior to the conference, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) issued advisories to motorists in a press release,  “Drivers are warned not to allow passengers to hang from the doors of motor buses, sit on top of motor vehicles, or have any part of the body protruding from the motor vehicles. Drivers are to ensure that they obey the speed limit and desist from dangerous and careless driving on the nation’s roads”.

However, in videos circulating on social media, it was observed that the JCF’s warning was ignored. In one video, JLP supporters were sitting on top of the two JUTC buses in which they were being transported. In another video, supporters were seen hanging from the windows of four coaster buses while the buses swerved from side to side in close proximity to one another. In that same video, it was observed that the buses were driving on an unfinished road with road material still on the roadway.

Following the release of the videos, outrage poured out on social media with many comments recalling a coaster bus driver who was charged for reckless driving and his bus seized in previous weeks. A police officer recorded the bus swerving from one lane to the next along Half Way Tree Road and the video was posted to the JCF’s Instagram page. Social media users are calling for the same action to be taken in these incidents.

One Instagram user wrote, “So it’s okay for people to do this when it has to do with politics but if you do it outside of that, they’ll fine you and ticket you or even take away your licence?” Another user said, “And you’d think with all the road fatalities people would have more sense”.

Over 400 road fatalities have been recorded since the start of the year with numbers surging as it draws closer to the Christmas season. Last week, a St Ann vehicular crash between a bus and a motor car resulted in the injury of 20 persons and the death of three. Days prior, another crash along the border of St Ann and Trelawny, involving a coaster bus and truck, killed two.

Drivers are being urged to drive safely and observe the road code.

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