The Toll Authority of Jamaica (TAJ) is appealing to motorists to observe the safety requirements and take all necessary precautions when using the country’s toll roads.
In an interview with JIS News, Chief Executive Officer of the TAJ, Joan Fletcher, is imploring users of the high-speed roadways to ensure that their vehicles are in good mechanical condition and to check that their tyres are properly inflated.
“We found that motorists, from time to time, had blowouts on the toll road because their tyres were defective. It is very important that motorists ensure that their tyres are in good order, because these are high-speed roads and persons are putting themselves in danger if their tyres are not properly inflated or if the tread is worn,” she warned.
Mrs. Fletcher said that excessively worn or under-inflated tyres can result in overheating, sidewall cracking, or a blowout, which can lead to a collision.
She is also reminding users of the roads that they are high speed motorways and that internationally, persons are not encouraged to stop along high-speed motorways because it is extremely dangerous.
“We have had cases in Jamaica of persons who have stopped along the motorway for various reasons and have been killed, so we say to motorists, unless there is an emergency and you really have to stop, don’t. Vehicles coming along at high speeds can hit the motor vehicle or even the driver if they get out,” she explained.
She added that persons should only stop in an emergency or when instructed to do so and stop only on the hard shoulder. Mrs. Fletcher also pointed out that persons should not be let off or picked up along the roadway, as pedestrians are not allowed on the highway.
Meanwhile, toll road users are also being reminded that the escape lanes are there for emergency purposes only. “If a driver cannot stop, they should try to get to the escape lane and go up on it, but they have to use the section with the gravel, because that is the section that is made to slow down the vehicle and to allow it to come to a halt,” she said.
Meanwhile, TAJ’s Senior Toll Road Inspector, Delon Wauchope, said that persons should take note of the rumble strips which are strategically placed along the highway.
“They serve to make motorists aware that they may be approaching a steep hill and it generally slows them down. They are also designed to bring a motorist’s attention back to the road, so if a person is distracted or falling asleep it should alert them to pay keen attention to the road,” he said.
He added that it is also important for persons to be aware of the signs and in particular the speed limit signs and the crash hotspot signs, which alert motorists to be cautious.