2013 in ‘rear-view’

December 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Today, the last Sunday in 2013, Automotives looks back at the first half of yet another calendar year in the business of revving engines and fantastic motor vehicle features, road safety and racing. Next week, July to December will be in the rear-view mirror.

  • January

6: Paula Fletcher, executive director of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), said although there were 260 road fatalities in 2012, there was still a long way to go. So although the Save 300 campaign, started in 2008, met its objective, the figure was a step, not a destination.

The declining value of the Jamaican dollar against benchmark foreign currencies creates a dim outlook for car sales. President of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association, Lynvalle Hamilton, and head of the new car dealers’ organisation, the Automobile Dealers Association, Kent LaCroix, hold similarly pessimistic outlooks. Hamilton says sales in 2012 were better than 2011, but expects 2013 to fall below 2012.

13: After Melvin Chung was killed outside a Total Service Station he operated in downtown Kingston on January 5, Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association’s Derrick Thompson says tight deadlines are causing station operators to take chances in moving large sums of cash. Two and a half month earlier, another service station operator had been shot, but survived the attack by thieves. After a meeting between the police and gas station operators, there seems to be some reassurance on safety issues.

20: A 1941 Ford Prefect which is parked outside Jake’s in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, and a water truck at Whitebones Restaurant, Mannings Hill Road, St Andrew, are eye-catching marketing tools.

27: Jamaican long-haul truck drivers who have migrated to Canada reported that they are ‘cool’ in their new home, as they settle into their jobs. “We are provided with brand new equipment – 2010 models are the oldest trucks in the fleet,” testifies Kobre Campbell, who drives for Atlantic Diversified Transportation Systems out of Debert, Nova Scotia. “They treat us really well. We are just like part of the family.”

Major traffic rules changes become effective in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew. The situation is to be monitored for six months to determine their effectiveness in improving pedestrians’ safety.

Dover Raceway 2012 champion driver Sebastian Rae, head of the Jamaica Automobile Association Earl Jarrett, and 12 year-old Joshua Sirgany, Jamaica Karting Association Driver of the Year, are recognised by affiliates of the Federation of International Automobiles for their major achievements in 2012. The ceremony was held in Panama City, Panama.

  • February

3: The Insurance Company of the West Indies hands 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. Production costs were over $500,000.

10: Kirk Reynolds makes a course at Barbican Circle, St Andrew, for the Stewart’s Automotive Group to offer rigorous test drives of their vehicles. A water course and steep incline/decline are included, as Stewart’s needed to be able to demonstrate the ‘X

Trail factor’ feature in their BMW vehicles and traction-control technology for the Mitsubishi and Suzuki off-road vehicles.

Doug ‘Hollywood’ Gore is anticipating the return of the Audi TT, which was shipped to Germany for extensive repairs after crashing at Dover Raceway, St Ann, in May 2012.

Highway 2000 taps into the sun, as solar-powered street lights are
installed along several legs of the highway. Some 221 systems are to be
put in.

The Jamaican Urban Transit
Company (JUTC) has taken a number of buses which are no longer
economically viable off the road. Buses such as the Mercedes-Benz and
VDL Jonckeere (MANN) units normally seen plying the 42, 52, 53 and 54
routes, along with a few other Volvo buses along other routes, have been
phased out. Some units are still in service, but not for the general
public. They serve as transport for JUTC maintenance workers servicing
other buses, as well as for shuttling staff

Heels are in for the ladies, and Chyna Whyne has the perfect
technique for those who want to step in and step with their heels

Unfortunately, the looting of
crashed vehicles is all too common. However, while the law deals with
the theft, by law the looters are not bound to help the occupants of a
crashed vehicle. Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds indicated
that in a case of looting, a person who refuses to help a wounded
individual cannot face criminal sanctions. Those would apply only if the
person died at the hands of the

  • March

The rebuilt Audi TT RS DTM Spec race car is unveiled at ATL
Automotive’s Oxford Road, New Kingston,

With increasing prices,
travelling on the toll roads weighs heavily on the persons who bought
into housing developments to the west of Kingston, in St Catherine and

There is a possible pet penalty in driving, with the motorist
liable to being charged for having the animal protruding or in their lap
while the vehicle is in motion. Also, there are sanctions for leaving
the pet locked up in the

The NRSC resets its road
safety goals to ‘Below 240: Jamaica Can Do It’. This is after the ‘Below
300′ campaign, launched in 2008, finally lived up to its target in
2012, when 260 fatalities were recorded. When ‘Below 240′ was launched,
there were three less road fatalities up to March 6 in 2013, compared to

17: Cecil
Beharry has been on safaris across the Pakaraima Mountain in Guyana
before, but the one starting on March 22 is special. His four children -
Stuart, Craig, Jill and Clint – will also make the

The Crash Hotspot warning
signs posted at areas notorious for frequent accidents have had an
effect. Chris Hind, general manager of Jamaica National General
Insurance company, which funded the signs, tells
Automotives that while specific data on their
effectiveness is still outstanding, the warning signs are definitely
producing favourable results.

NRSC announces plans for its 20th anniversary celbrations in April.
Included is a private visit by His Royal Highness Prince Michael of
Kent, royal patron for the Commission for Global Road Safety and patron
of the non-profit organisation, Fdration Internationale de
l’Automobile. The spokesperson for the anniversary observation is
sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser

31: The
westbound Old Harbour on ramp on Highway 2000 is officially opened. It
allows commuters from surrounding areas to access the highway and travel
to May Pen and beyond quickly and

Sizzla is announced as the
featured artiste on the Shell/Helix Carnival of Speed meet, slated for
Easter Monday at the Dover Raceway, St

Dancehall artiste Tifa is now
piloting a 2012 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 in a half-year arrangement
with Stewart Motors.

  • April

7: The new Motor Vehicle
Registration Certificate (MVRC), set up by the Tax Administration of
Jamaica, is all of five days old. The new MVRC is pink, a change from
yellow. A new numbering system has been added to improve the security
tracking of each individual certificate.

A number of Easter
Weekend crashes push the 2013 road fatality rate ahead of the
corresponding period in 2012.

Gore draws first blood going up against David Summerbell Jr and other
top drivers, winning thrice (later to be disqualified from one race) at
the Shell/Helix Carnival of Speed Easter Monday meet at Dover Raceway.
It does not hurt that other drivers, including Summerbell Jr, have car

Othneil Lawrence, former minister of state in the Ministry of Transport
and Works, is happy after his first win at Dover. Using his regular
street car, a Mitsubishi Evolution VI, the former junior minister posted
a time of 1:46 to take the chequered flag in the five-lap Improved
Production 45 Class event.

‘Chiney Dolly’ Chang emerges as a fierce competitor in circuit racing,
after her performance at the Easter Monday 2013 Dover meet. “She is more
fearless than last year. We have a few more girls coming, so Dover will
be exciting,” says president of the Jamaica Race Drivers Club,

Public passenger vehicle drivers and conductors are set to benefit from a
training seminar undertaken by the Transport Authority in conjunction
with the HEART Trust/NTA. This is in a bid to make them more
knowledgeable about their operations, while at the same time providing
quality service to commuters. The training programme is scheduled to
take place islandwide between May 6 and June

With a grand motor-revving
entrance no less spectacular than in a Vin Diesel movie, Guinness will
showcase some of Jamaica’s hottest cars at three mass event experiences,
as well as select venues on its three-month, 12-bar tour across
Jamaica. The car competition is part of large events, starting on April
26 at the Guinness home ground, Red Stripe Oval, 214 Spanish Town Road,

ATL Autohaus is basking in the recent official opening of its VW
showroom and Audi terminal at 3 Oxford Rd, New Kgn. Brian Stevenson,
director of Automotive Development at ATL Automotive, said: “The whole
thing is that Audi is progressive. It’s sporty, it’s sophisticated, and
there are other things that when you work with Audi, you’ve got to make
sure you address … Audi has designed the whole building so that it
epitomises what Audi stands for, and when you step into it, you have to
feel like you are in Audi

President of the Jamaica
Gasolene Retailers Association, Derrick Thompson, has welcomed Energy
Minister Phillip Paulwell’s announcement that low-sulphur diesel will
soon be available in Jamaica. Paulwell said in his contribution to the
2013 Budget Debate that the low-sulphur diesel will be introduced to the
motoring public at retail stations as of June

  • May

The Jamaica Motor Show, presented by The Firm Marketing Agency in
association with Scotiabank, goes to Montego

12: A
representative of local Nissan dealers, Fidelity Motors, says that the
gold-coloured Nissan GT-R presented to sprinter Usain Bolt is worth

19: It is
announced that the 2013 Jamaica Driver and Road Safety Expo will be held
on June 15 and the Road Safety 5K will be staged on November 30. The
chief organiser of both events is Alphanso Grennell of Grennell’s
Driving School.

Auto technician
Brian Holler tells Automotives that many motorists
are unaware that their vehicles are equipped with cabin air filters.
“The cabin air filter is a purifier for the air that comes through the
air-conditioning vents. In the car you can circulate air, or you can get
air coming from outside. The blend door opens and closes, so with most
cars, the filter fits right over the blower motor. It traps dirt
particles that are coming from outside and then filtrates clean air
through the bottom section,” Holler explains.

26: The need
for speed is palpable at the premiere of Fast and
6 at Carib 5, Cross Roads, St Andrew, with three
turbocharged cars strategically placed at the cinema’s entrance to pump
moviegoers’ adrenaline. Paul Cole, managing director of King Midas
Mufflers, who spearheaded the initiative, said he wanted to capitalise
on the car culture in Jamaica, especially among young

The National Road Safety
Council launches its 2013 Road Safety Poster Competition, under the
theme ‘Pedestrian Safety – the STREET SMART WAY!’ The competition is
open to all students islandwide, age six to 19 years old. It is designed
to encourage sound road safety values in the youngsters, while
increasing their awareness of the importance of responsible road

Negotiating the notoriously
difficult Wellington Drive/Mona Road intersection, as well as crossing
the normally busy main road in Liguanea to and from the US Embassy, is
now easier. New traffic lights installed by the National Works Agency
have been activated recently, regulating what had been a free-for-all

  • June

With the tag line ‘Alert Today – Alive Tomorrow Distraction Kills’
firmly in their sights, the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association
launches their Road Safety Month campaign at the Total New Kingston
service station, 29 Dominica Drive, New

Greater attention will be paid to road safety awareness in schools, with
the introduction of the Jamaica Automobile Association Junior Club
School Programme in the next academic year. A memorandum of
understanding was signed by Earl Jarrett, chairman of the Jamaica
Automobile Association and general manager of the Jamaica National
Building Society, and Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites, to cement
support for the

23: A
number of service stations will begin to offer ultra-low sulphur diesel
(ULSD) to motorists. According to the US Department of Energy’s
website, ULSD is diesel fuel with 15 parts per million or lower sulphur
content than regular diesel, so it is cleaner and more refined. The
sulphur content of ULSD is lower by 97 per cent than that in the diesel
fuel previously available. Using ULSD is aimed at lowering diesel
engines’ harmful exhaust emissions, which will improve the environment.


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