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Beenie Man endorses road safety

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor –
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, May 12, 2017

Grammy -winning deejay Beenie Man threw his full support behind the 9th annual staging of the Jamaica Driver & Traffic Safety Expo, which is scheduled for the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St Andrew on June 24.

The dancehall deejay was speaking at the expo's launch held at the Ministry of Transport and Mining's head office on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston yesterday. The occasion was attended by several stakeholders including Mike Henry, minister of transport and mining; Alphonso Grennell, managing director of Grennell's Driving School and expo conceptualiser; and James Moss-Solomon, patron and chairman of the University Hospital of the West Indies.

“A lot of drivers do not obey signs, like stop signs, roundabout, give way, especially stop sign after 12 at night-time... I met into a dangerous accident (in 2004) when the (Mandela) Highway was just being built. I had just come off a four-month tour. I was going to Clarendon about 2:00 o'clock in the night... I was ignoring the signs and still speeding and going straight... I wasn't wearing a seatbelt... I flew through the back glass,” he recalled.

Beenie Man said he woke up in hospital eight hours later and has suffered a broken leg, a punctured lung, and his face was badly bruised.

“For me to have that experience and still being here, I urge all bike riders to wear a helmet; all drivers, seatbelt down and slow it down,” he said.

The deejay spoke to issues such as having a designated driver when partying, and that more courtesy must be exercised on the road.

Grennell shared that he hoped event would cause a reduction in road fatalities.

“Indeed, it is true that out of great tragedy can come triumph — as is the case for many of us. I lost a loved one as a result of a motor vehicle crash many years ago. Today, I still feel a great sense of loss; this tragedy, which occurred all those years ago, continues to have an impact. This devastating event in my life played a significant role in the birth of this expo. It is our hope that it will prove educational for all who attend, and will ultimately cause a reduction in the number of road fatalities which occur on our nation's streets,” he said.

Minister Henry said the timing of the launch was perfect.

“The launch could not have come at a better time, as we celebrate with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week from May 8 to14; with the theme #Savelives #Slowdown. But in plain Jamaican language we say Slow It Down. I am urging motorists and motorcyclists to slow it down on the roads this week and for years to come.”

The occasion also saw Mona Heights Primary students performing a piece, titled Passengers vs Taximan, written by teacher Anita McNeil.