Arrive Alive wants road law enforced and penalty fines increased

Story by RHONDOR DOWLAT-ROSTANT

A challenge has been tossed at the Transit Police by Arrive Alive, the road safety non-governmental organisation (NGO), to enforce the law to unauthorised drivers on the Priority Bus Route “without fear and favour”.

As at 30th March 2020, there were 31 fatal accidents in which 34 lives were lost. As of 28th May 2019, the number of road deaths stood at 54.

This represented a 20 per cent increase in the number of road deaths for the same period 2019, when the road fatality count stood at 45.

Only recently, police officers renewed their advice to motorists to adhere to road traffic laws and regulations, and to always exercise caution while on the roadways.

Immediately after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, drivers are being asked to ensure that they get their vehicles inspected, and to “make sure they are roadworthy”.

“Check those tires as well. Obey the traffic rules and speeding limits on the respective roadways, not only the highways. Drive cautiously and courteously,” says a recent TTPS advisory on the matter.

Meanwhile, President of Arrive Alive, Sharon Inglefield, told Guardian Media that while it is understandable that the public may have much on their minds—given the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting difficulties—drivers and pedestrians must not forget to focus on their safety while on the road.

“We all have a responsibility, not just to ourselves and others on the road, but also to the emergency services who will play a significant role in guiding us through this pandemic, and cannot cope with additional preventable and avoidable collisions,” Inglefield said.

She also noted that it is very important that the Ministry of Works and Transport increase the fines and demerit points to drivers, particularly on the bus route.

“We urge the transit police officers to enforce the law on this route, without fear and favour,” she stated.  “There are too many vehicles that travel on this route in their private vehicles illegally.”

She added: “We also appeal to the Ministry of Works & Transport to please focus on the maintenance of our signalized intersections, as well as other road safety furniture.”

Inglefield also stressed that all drivers need to obey the speed limit, and to adapt their speed to road conditions, “since too many road users continue to lose their lives this year”.

The Arrive Alive President referred to a recent incident in which a girl was killed by an oncoming vehicle when she ran onto the roadway.

“Parents, please be particularly vigilant with regards to the care of your children.  Please don’t allow them to wander anywhere close to the traffic on our roads, without adult supervision,” she urged.