Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Sunday | February 3, 2013
Home : Auto
6 minutes of prevention - ICWI puts over half a million into road-safety videos
Sheldon Williams, Gleaner Writer

The Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI) has handed over six road-safety infomercials to the the Ministry Of Transport, Works and Housing for broadcast on free-to-air television. Each one-minute infomercial addresses a specific area - speeding, motorcycle safety, overtaking, tailgating, pedestrian safety and general safe driving tips.

The infomercials were produced by the insurance company as a show of goodwill, continuing their unwavering support for road safety in Jamaica. They were officially handed over to the ministry at ICWI's head office. Production costs were over $500,000.

Vice-president of marketing, distribution and HR at ICWI, Samantha Samuda, explained to Automotives that, "ICWI, since its inception over 45 years ago, has been dedicated to promoting road safety. When we were approached by producer Marc Hylton and the Road Safety Unit director, Kanute Hare, to help with this project, it was an easy decision for us. The benefits of making these road-safety videos available to the public are enormous when you consider the number of unnecessary deaths, accidents and exorbitant cost of medical expenses and motor vehicle repairs associated with careless driving".

Samuda is hopeful that the infomercials will increase safety awareness among road users. "It is our hope that these public-service announcements will help to raise awareness in the area of road safety by encouraging drivers to be more diligent when on the roads. It is important for persons to recognise that while it is nice to be mobile and drive all these 'nice' cars, there is also responsibility that we all must be aware of - speed kills and a moving vehicle can be a dangerous weapon if not driven with care," she said.

Not their first time

Samuda pointed out that this is not the first time ICWI is supporting road safety in a tangible way. "ICWI and the Road Safety Unit (RSU) have partnered in many outdoor events and promotional activities. The RSU is a staple participant at the company's annual road-safety check days," Samuda said.

Hare said, "These infomercials will play a crucial role in the ministry's quest to provide quality road-safety information to the general public, thus ensuring that our population is aware of the contemporary road-safety issues. These infomercials will be displayed in the electronic media, and all forms of media will be explored in order to ensure that the road-safety message inoculates the mind, the body, the soul and the spirit of every Jamaican".

Hare also said the infomercials will be beneficial to the unit as they strive to continue reducing road deaths in Jamaica. "These infomercials will be used as part of the ministry's thrust to ensure Jamaica sustainably reduces road deaths below 300. The ministry seeks the active participation of every Jamaican as we seek to ensure our road fatalities are reduced to 150 by 2020, when the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety ends," Hare said.

Hare is, naturally, very grateful to the insurance company. "The ICWI has been a very crucial road-safety stakeholder and has been very supportive of the ministry's various road-safety initiatives. The ministry profoundly appreciates the development of these six road-safety infomercials," he said.

The infomercials will be aired throughout 2013, allowing the public to familiarise themselves with the road-safety messages. "These road-safety infomercials will be aired throughout the year and will be part of the arsenal of road-safety materials that will be fully utilised by the ministry in order to enlighten our population regarding the importance of practising proper road etiquette. They are currently being aired on CVM television and they will also be aired on Flow Television shortly," Hare said.

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