(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Jean Davey, who lost her only son in a motor vehicle crash a year ago, is calling for legislation to penalise individuals who post graphic images of tragic incidents on social media.
“There should be some fine because you can identify who did it. Once they are aware of the repercussions, fines should be applied. I suppose if that is implemented and persons are aware, then it would cease. It’s not going to happen immediately, but over time it would be eliminated,” Davey told the Jamaica Observer yesterday at the National Road Safety Council’s mid-year press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.
Davey, who has been at a hair salon in Mandeville, Manchester on June 24, 2017, when she was summoned to the Spanish Town Hospital, said never in her wildest dreams did she think her son would have died on his birthday.
She said while she was on her way to the hospital, individuals were calling her none-stop after they saw images of the crash involving her son on social media.
Davey said when the individuals calling her realised that she was not aware that her son had died in a crash on the North-South Highway, they stopped calling.
“It was circulating on social media before I found out. He died after one, I got the call after three and I reached the hospital after four,”Davey said, adding that a video of her son taking his last breath was also posted on social media.
The mother, who pointed out that she is aware that many other families have had similar experiences, said individuals should be quick to empathise rather than advertise.
“We want to highlight the need for persons to desist from sending graphic pictures all over social media about accidents or tragic incidents that take place in Jamaica, and by extension worldwide. I think it is our duty to ensure and appeal to [others to stop] the careless driving and [that] speeding is unacceptable. I think we [should] try to appeal to the emotions of the public and let them be aware of what really happens, that we are already grieving in circumstances such as these.
“In addition to publicising those pictures, sending them all over social media, it hurts. The day the accident took place the pictures were all over social media,” the mother said, adding that she is not yet strong enough to view the pictures.
Davey said, too, that reflecting on the death of her first child has made it even more painful to celebrate his birthday. Sunday will be one year since he was buried.
“It is a little over a year and the wound is still fresh and the family is still grieving because this is a wonderful son that any parent would appreciate having. I mean, is the normal child who grew up in the church, went to high school and did his best. His father taught him how to drive, he got his driver’s licence from fifth form; he was doing well.
“He went to university [and] almost finished; he was working and tragedy struck,” she explained.
The mother said she never expected to have her name on her son’s death certificate or even to have been looking at caskets for him.