PC Brent Batson, Road Safety Coordinator

A number of deaths on the nation’s roads could have been easily prevented, Road Safety Officer Brent Batson said yesterday as he broke down the road traffic accident statistics at the weekly police briefing at the Police Administration building.

“In the year 2019 Trinidad & Tobago continued to experience a sustained reduction in fatal road traffic accidents recording 102 fatal road traffic accidents in 2019 compared to 110 in 2018.

The figure represented a 7% reduction in fatal road traffic accidents. Unfortunately, there was an increase in the number of road deaths from 118 in 2018 to 121 in 2019 representing a 3% increase in lives lost,” said Batson, “So in 2019, unfortunately, we experienced more multiple fatal incidents, where we had a reduction in crashes but an increase in the number of lives taken as a result of those crashes.”

Batson singled out one statistic which worried him in particular; the number of pedestrians who died while attempting to cross the nation’s highways.

“A worrisome statistic is that most fatal highway accidents were coded as being pedestrians crossing carriageway heedless to traffic. This demonstrated a 57% increase in its prevalence in 2019. And that just goes to show how preventable a lot of these incidents were if people would just to use pedestrian crossing areas and would use walkover infrastructure,” he said.

He explained that in 2019, highways saw a 25% increase in fatal road traffic accidents while conversely main roads and Priority Bus Route experienced decreases of 21% and 43% respectively. This represented the lowest main road and Priority Bus Route fatal road traffic accident figures for the past decade.

“So we did see some progress in some areas,” he said.