The Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC) and the Road Safety Unit of the Ministry of Transport and Mining is appealing to students to end the alarming trend of running alongside JUTC buses in the Downtown, Kingston layby.
This practice has attracted growing concern for the Ministry of Transport and Mining, the JUTC, parents and school administrators alike, and poses a serious risk to student and vehicular safety.
In recent weeks, there have been reported incidents of students from schools in Downtown, Kingston, running alongside buses in the bus park, in an attempt to board and secure seating. The behaviour not only endangers the students’ lives and safety, but also the safety of other passengers and road users.
“This practice is extremely dangerous and could lead to serious injury or may even result in death. We witnessed this behaviour in the latter part of December (2022), and unfortunately, it seems to continue even now. We cannot continue to ignore the issue, as to do so would be at our own peril”, noted Corporate Communications Manager at the JUTC, Cecil Thoms.
An urgent appeal is also being made to school officials and parents to speak with their children about the dangers of running after and alongside buses, and the importance of practicing road safety while commuting to and from school. They are also being reminded to encourage students to stand on the curb and wait for the buses to come to a complete stop before approaching it. Approach the bus from the front and wait for the driver to open the door and do not push or shove other passengers.
“The Ministry and JUTC take the safety of all commuters seriously, and we want to remind everyone that running alongside buses is a dangerous practice”, said Deidrie Hudson Sinclair, Director of the Road Safety Unit. “We have engaged the Ministry of Education and Youth, as well as the schools in the area to provide road safety intervention and will be doing so over the coming weeks”.
Parents and students are being asked to take this issue seriously and to work together with the Ministry and the JUTC to ensure the safety of all students and commuters in preventing any future incidents.