Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Sunday | December 30, 2012
Home : Auto
A Year On The Road
WINDOW DOG: The Autopet, made for automobiles by a group of Jamaican entrepreneurs.-file photos
Another year is almost at an end and Automotives is looking back at its coverage of all things motor-vehicle related in Jamaica over the past 12 months. Enjoy this glance in the rear-view mirror, even as we prepare for the straights and turns, smooth surfaces and potholes in the year ahead.

January 8

About a year after it was used to support parts of Highway 2000 near the entrance to the wharf, Keith Edwards could confirm that his expanded polysterene geofoam product has stood up to the traffic and weather conditions.

January 22

Kyle Gregg is surprised to be named as the Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club's top driver for 2011. Gregg was the Rally Sport Drivers Champion, Rookie Rally Sport Champion and overall Sprint Champion. He copped the Sprint Champion Class 500, 2WD Sprint championship, was second in the Stages Rally Class Driver Champion and tied for third with Alan Chen in the Stages Rally 2WD Driver Champion.

The fifth Jamaica Motor Show opens at the Police Officers' Club, Hope Road, St Andrew. Organiser Ian Lyn describes it as a combination of the classifieds and a flea market.

January 29

Economic constraints dashed Jamaica's hopes of hosting this year's Pan American Rotax Max Challenge Go-Kart Championship finals. "Instead, we will be bidding to host the Rotax World Finals here in Kingston next year," disclosed Neil Williams, president of the Jamaica Karting Association.


February 19

Cecil Beharry is intent on taking his Land Rover Defender on a second Safari to Guyana and Brazil.


March 11

Randolph Cheeks Jr says that his Auto Data service, which provides customers with the history of a car, will soon be rolled out.

March 25

The Automobile Dealears Association hosts its Motor Show - the first since 2007, after the biennial new-car display was not held as scheduled in 2009 - at the National Arena. The show is well attended.


April 15

The used-car show islandwide series run by Ian Lyn is hosted in Mandeville, Manchester.

Automotives reports that the Doug Gore's Audi TT and David Summerbell's Mitsubishi Evolution 8 shared top honours at the Carnival of Speed Easter Monday meet.

April 22


Douglas 'Dougie' Duncan takes his job as a school crossing warden at the Grove Primary Scool, Gordon Town, St Andrew, very seriously, assisting children as they alight from taxis.

May 6

A group of students from Papine High School, St. Andrew, conceptualise and make a model of a speed control navigation system, which would allow the speed of a motor vehicle to be monitored through the combination of a device attached to the vehicle and a smartphone.

May 13

A number of expensive motor vehicles are seized in the western Jamaica Lotto Scam crackdown.

May 20

The AUTOPET, a dog stuffed with cute appeal, is being marketed by Limitless Enterprises, a group of innovative Jamaicans.

May 27

A crash involving douglas Gore and Peter Rae at Dover leaves Gore's famed Audi TT heavily damaged.

June 3

Motor vehicle licensing fees have been increased under the Budget presented by Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips. The annual fees for private motor cars not exceeding 1199cc has moved from $5,125 to $7,700, while the fee for those exceeding 1199cc but not exceeding 2999cc has moved from $7,000 to $10,500. For those over 2999cc but not over 3999cc, the increase is from $16,000 to $25,600, while for those exceeding 3999cc, the annual licensing fee has moved from $24,250 to $38,800. Still, Automotives reports, the demand for vehicles in the lowest band is still low.

June 10

A 10-year analysis of accidents across Jamaica has shown that Half-Way Tree had the most crashes, 3,674. Central downtown Kingston was second in the accident ranking. While Half-Way Tree had the most crashes of any one community, from the 72,000 accidents mapped from 2000 to 2010, Runaway Bay had the most fatalities. The study was done by Mona GeoInformatics at The University of the West Indies; its director, Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee, presenting the findings.


July 1


Awards are given in the inaugural Road Safety Poster Competition, staged by the National Road Safety Council under the theme 'Our Road Safety, Our Responsibility'. Topping Category One was Nickallye Gunn from Corinaldi Avenue Primary in Montego Bay, St James. Stella Maris Preparatory took second and third places, through Tori Ebanks and Samantha Chin, respectively. Alexis Falloon of JosÚ MartÝ Technical High won Category Two, Michael Lewis of Denbigh High was second and Daniel Samuels of Papine High, third.

July 8

As of July 2, 2012, there were 123 traffic deaths, a 22 per cent decline from the 158 road fatalities over the corresponding period in 2011.

July 15

Thirty Jamaican heavy-duty equipment mechanics receive Red Seal certification, Canada's highest Interprovincial Trade qualification, in Jamaica. The examination is usually administered in Canada.

July 22

Taxi driver Robert Hamilton is able to process customers' debit and credit cards in his car, as he has a portable point-of-sale machine.

July 29

Jamaicaautodirectory.com, run by Josephine Ulett-White and Gary White, is reportedly in expansion mode.

The Independence of Speed meet at the Dover Raceway. David Summerbell Jr and Kyle Gregg are among the winners.

August 5

Although the Save 300 road fatalities campaign is on the way to achieving its target, president of the Jamaica Automobile Association Dr Earl Jarrett says that while local agencies have been focusing on bringing the number of road fatalities to 300 per year, this target is way off mark. Jarrett cited data from the World Health Organisation showing that Great Britain has a rate of 5.4 road fatalities per hundred thousand of its population. He noted that with some countries falling to four per hundred thousand, at just over 12 fatalities per hundred thousand Jamaica's rate was disturbingly high.

August 12

Lisa Graham is in the thick of things in a man's world, changing race car tyres at Dover.

Auto Data is now available to the public at Manor Park, Mona, New Kingston, Portmore Pines, Stanton Terrace and Liguanea Total service stations.

August 19

The effect of the 2010 tsunami in Japan on car prices has receded.

August 26

The Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) announces its members will soon stop accepting Visa and MasterCard credit cards for fuel payments

September 23

A quick-response prayer team and unit run by Power of Faith Ministries Cathedral in Portmore, St Catherine, utilises a 2001 Toyota Corolla station wagon.

Septembe 30

Uriel Dunkley has fun remodelling a VW Bug and putting in a powerful audio system.


October 7

The JGRA decides to continue accepting credit cards for gas payments.

October  21

Sebastien Rae is the Driver of the Year.


November 11

The public health authorities in St Catherine start a campaign aimed at tyre repair shops, in order to control mosquitoes.

November 18

Vernon Nesbeth donates his air-conditioning repair skills to the police force, which the officers deeply appreciate.

November 25

Michael Archer puts together a 'ground plane', to the delight of his community members.


December 2

Rally Jamaica 2012 ends in downtown Kingston.

Alphonso Grennell reports low returns from the inaugural Grennell's Road Safety 5K.

First deliveries of the Tata Nano are expected in mid-December.

December 16


The improved JamWest race track opens in Little London, Westmoreland.

December 23

Go-karter Joshua Sirgany and circuit racer Sebastien Rae will be honoured with the Federation of International Automobile (FIA) affiliate, FIA Americas Award in Panama on January 19, 2013.


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