A police officer monitors traffic flow and motorists during the recent road exercises conducted by the Highway Patrol (Operation Night Vision), on Thursday 31 December 2021. (Image courtesy TTPS)

In 2020, this country recorded its lowest road fatalities figure in 63 years—96 road deaths, according to new figures shared by the Traffic and Highway Patrol Branch of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TPS).

The Police Service reports the development in an official statement, in which it also urges citizens to comply with all the laws governing the nation’s roads.

“Once again, we are strongly advising all drivers to comply with the laws by obeying roadway speed limits, and to avoid the payment of fines and the accrual of demerit points,” the statement said.

The reminder comes on the heels of an exercise the TTPS conducted over the New Year’s weekend.  All units of the Highway Patrol initiated a major enforcement and high visibility policing initiative targeting dangerous and reckless drivers, on Thursday 31st December 2020.  The exercise resulted in 269 speeding tickets being issued to errant drivers.

Traffic Branch Senior Superintendent, Wayne Mystar, together with Superintendent Rampersad instructed all Highway Patrol Units to elevate road policing activities across the nation’s highways through Speed Enforcement, DUI and Stop and Search exercises.

“Our latest figures indicate that there were 96 recorded traffic deaths in 2020, which is a historically low figure.  This is an astonishing achievement because the last time Trinidad & Tobago experienced a road death figure below 100 was in 1957,” Superintendent Mystar states in the release.

“Although the TTPS welcomes the significant decrease in road fatalities, every road death was one too many,” he said.  “Consequently, we will continue to work assiduously in 2021 to help reduce the road fatality figure even further.”

TTPS Road Safety Project Coordinator, Sgt Brent Batson, said there will an intensifying of public education programmes to achieve this end.

“The TTPS plans to expand the iRoadsafe education campaign, which helps drivers make safer decisions and forms part of our injury and collision prevention efforts in 2021,” he explains in the TTPS release.  “That also includes closer stakeholder collaboration with the Licensing Authority, Arrive Alive and the Insurance Association.”

Sgt Batson added: “We will never know whose lives we may have saved, but just knowing at least 25 persons are still with their families because of the dedicated efforts of traffic law enforcement officers is enough reason to double our efforts in 2021.”