A total of 4,348 speeding tickets have been issued to motorists since the demerit points system became operationalised in this country at the end of May, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan has said.
For the same period 8,075 seat belt tickets and 7,511 tickets for breaches of traffic signals have been recorded he said.
“The numbers don’t lie they tell the tale of road users who disregard their own safety and the safety of others,” Sinanan said.
“The people responsible for these violations behave as though an accident cannot happen to them, they violate traffic laws as if oblivious to the fact that in the blink of an eye their fate, the fate of other passengers and even that of unsuspecting bystanders. Victims can be seriously injured because of their recklessness,” he said.
“We need to be more careful on the roads of T&T simply because one death is one too many so let us commit to being more thoughtful and vigilant,” Sinanan said.
Sinanan made the statements yesterday as he delivered an address as Arrive Alive hosted a virtual event on social media to commemorate the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
Every year on the third Sunday in November the world remembers the millions of lives lost and persons injured on the world’s roads.
The theme for this year’s event was “Remember, Support, Act.”
A release from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service said records indicate that 78 persons have lost their lives in road traffic accidents to date in 2020.
“Although this figure represents a 25 per cent reduction from the previous year 2019, this figure is still unacceptably high due to the preventable nature of many of these incidents,” the TTPS stated.
The TTPS said this year’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was “even more important and holds a greater sense of significance as it is set against the backdrop of the death of Sasha Surajbally, 21, and her three-month-old baby, Soriah following a car crash along the Manzanilla Mayaro Road on Friday.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, has set road policing as one of the TTPS’s key national policing goals to ensure and preserve public safety, the release stated.
“The sustained efforts of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Branch resulted in a 52 per cent reduction in road traffic deaths across the nation’s highways. This is due to relentless traffic enforcement exercises targeting high-risk offences such as Exceeding Speed Limits, Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Seatbelt-use and Distracted Driving,” it stated.
The TTPS continued, “The Traffic Branch Motorcycle Section and Road Policing Task Force often adopt a zero-tolerance approach to their enforcement efforts, as a means of reducing the risk caused by unsafe driving behaviours. However, such a position is unfortunately often times misinterpreted as “oppressive” by motorists who are unable to see the bigger picture, which in reality shows that officers are simply trying to improve a driver’s behaviour and alertness on the nation’s roads.”
Meanwhile, Arrive Alive’s president Sharon Inglefield said support for relatives of those who died in accidents remains unwavering from her organisation and all those who support the cause.
“We want all the families who have lost loved ones to know that we remember you, we are here to support you, we are here to advocate for your support and care, we are here to advocate for safer drivers, safer roads and safer vehicles in memory of the victims, our loved one who have been injured and who have died on our nation’s roads,” she said.