National basketball superstar Aliyah Boston has joined forces with the V.I. Police Department and the Office of Highway Safety to encourage safe traffic behaviors and improve road usage outcomes for residents and visitors.
The traffic safety campaign comprises four audio and video ads targeting impaired driving, distracted driving, occupant protection — seat belt and child car safety seat usage — and speeding, the VIPD said Tuesday in a press release announcing the collaboration.
“We are excited to partner with Ms. Boston to address traffic safety in the territory,” said VIPD Commissioner Ray Martinez. “Despite the simplicity of our roads compared to those on the mainland, we record too many avoidable crashes, injuries, and fatalities.”
During fiscal year 2021, the territory experienced 4,246 crashes (approximately 12 crashes per day) involving more than 8,100 occupants, resulting in over 340 injuries requiring medical care and 11 fatalities, according to Tuesday’s release.
Driving too fast for road conditions accounted for 100 of the crashes, and 72 involved impaired drivers. There were 340 crashes reported to involve unrestrained occupants, causing moderate to serious injuries for 174 occupants. Additionally, with cell phone use becoming more pervasive behind the wheel, many of these crashes resulted from motorists driving while distracted.
“Shifting the risk-taking habits of motorists and their passengers will create safer roadways for everyone,” said Martinez.
During her visit to the territory in May, Boston witnessed the reckless roadway conduct responsible for this alarming data. “When I proposed using my platform and voice to encourage highway safety in the U.S. Virgin Islands, I had to jump at it,” said Boston. “It could literally save lives!”
Boston hopes that her reputation as a star athlete would provide a convincing voice to shift risk-taking tendencies for several data-identified target groups. Safe driving habits improve motorway usage outcomes for all road users.
For more traffic safety information or to help address unsafe roadway practices in the territory, contact the Virgin Islands Office of Highway Safety through Director Daphne O’Neal at email@example.com or Occupant Protection Planner/Coordinator Denise Gomes at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact the office via telephone at 340-772-3025 or 340-473-7383.