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Kingston, Jamaica

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Travel Infomation Description

Road Conditions and Safety: Jamaicans drive on the left side of the road. Here are some notes for your safety:

  • Night time driving is extremely hazardous due to poor lighting and unpredictable pavement.
  • Heavy rains can make roads impassable and dangerous.
  • Many roads suffer from ill repair, inadequate signage, large potholes and poor traffic markings. There is a lack of pedestrian crosswalks.
  • Pedestrians and animals share the roadways with vehicles.
  • There have been reports of carjackings, including of rental cars.
  • Only two highways are roughly comparable to U.S. standards. Both are toll roads and part of Highway 2000. The East-West leg (?T1?) runs from Portmore to May Pen. The North-South leg (?T3? or the Edward Seaga Highway) connects Caymanas (west of Kingston) to Ocho Rios (Mammee Bay).
  • Driving habits range from aggressive speeding and sudden stops by taxis in the middle of the road to over-polite drivers who suddenly stop to allow a car to pull in front of them. All can lead to accidents.
  • Official emergency response can be slow. In practice, assistance given in emergency situations is generally by fellow motorists.

Traffic Laws:

  • Traffic circles (?roundabouts?) are often poorly marked and require traffic to move in a clockwise direction. Motorists entering a roundabout must yield to those already in it. 
  • Drivers and front-seat passengers are required to wear seat belts.
  • Motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets.

Public Transportation:

  • Official public transportation vehicles have red license plates. 
  • Private vehicles, NOT licensed for public transportation, have white license plates with blue letters/numbers.
  • Avoid public buses, which are often overcrowded and frequently a venue for crime. There are reports of private buses, acting as public transport, driving erratically leading to injury and death for both riders and pedestrians. You should only use licensed taxicabs having red-and-white PP license plates or transportation services recommended by your hotel.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers.

See our Road Safety page and the website of Jamaica?s national tourist office for more information.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Jamaica?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of air carrier operations in Jamaica. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Jamaica should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) broadcast warnings.

Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston, Jamaica

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