Road madness in the nation
Wednesday, June 27 2012
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Agri certificate: Agricultural Society president Dhano Sookoo presents a certificate to Dexter Singh a participant in the Agriculture Now initiative o...
THE EDITOR: I continue to read, with a profound sense of sadness and concern, about the horrific occurrences of road carnage in TT. I refer specifically to the Palance Bar incident and, more recently, to the Celestine Persad tragedy in Penal.
It appears that, in the Palance Bar incident, alcohol and the convenient “catch-all” bad drive excuses were the main culprits.
There is no doubt we are, traditionally, a drinking culture, but it’s time we become more responsible in our drinking and driving habits and more responsive to the needs of both the driving and non-driving public.
Having just returned from a month-long visit to my homeland, I wish to offer a few observations, subject to the following:
- Like many of my compatriots, I do enjoy a drink or two. However, I made the conscious decision, while I was in Trinidad, not to drink and drive. Fortunately, designated drivers were ready, willing and available!
- I am a longtime adherent of Defensive Driving techniques.
Speed is given as one of the major causes of accidents in TT. I disagree.
Speed, in a controlled flow, with requisite skill and sobriety, makes for problem-free driving for the most part.
Traffic that moves in “hiccups” is more likely to create problems!
Tailgating at high speed which is endemic on TT’s highways, combined with alcohol and poor driving skills are a recipe for disaster!
Additionally, there must be questions about the physical and mechanical condition of many vehicles operating on the nation’s highways.
As I understand it, vehicles must be inspected for road-worthiness at regular intervals by qualified facilities, several of which are scattered around the country.
I have personal experience of one such “inspection”.
It appears that there are inspection facilities which complete inspection checklists, collect the requisite fee and “pass” the applicant without even looking at the vehicle! It might well have been a donkey cart parked out front!
These traffic issues are not unique to TT; nor are the laws and regulations any different from other jurisdictions.
What we severely lack are regular and routine enforcement and a driving culture which respects other road users and, indeed, ourselves.
Max Yee Fung