Traffic cameras for road speedsters
Friday, November 2 2012
Eighty-five percent of people who get into fatal accidents are males and 15 percent are females.
A total of 153 persons to date, have died on the roadways for the year 2012. There is a two percent increase for the same period in 2011. To date, there are 43 pedestrian fatalities which account for 28 percent of 2012 road traffic fatalities.
The data was presented Wednesday at the National Road Safety Public Awareness Campaign launch held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain.
The launch was held jointly by the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Local Government, and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago
“Parents so love their children that they give their children a BMW, and at 3am they are dead. That is love!” Jack Warner, Minister of National Security, said as he discussed the importance of parents teaching their children road safety, and discipline on the road. Warner criticised some people who have “bad habits” that they have inculcated over time.
Warner blamed speeding, drunk driving, driving while tired, and the use of cellphones while driving as some of the major issues that contribute towards road fatality. He felt that the indiscipline of citizens have led to many fatal accidents that could have been avoided. “Accidents don’t happen; they are caused,” he said.
Warner called some of the people in the country who have reckless driving habits, undisciplined, and “stupid,” with particular reference to the people who engage in drag racing on the road.
As a result of the “carnage taking place on the roads”, Warner announced that there will be new initiatives, which will enable the police to hold reckless drivers accountable for their actions. One of these initiatives is the installation of traffic cameras, which are being tested now, placed on the road to catch “speedsters.”
He is hoping that this can be implemented by the end of the fiscal year. Also, he would like to limit Heavy-T, truck containers, on the highway to run between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am, so that they would not be a burden to other vehicles on the road.
Warner said he would like to increase highway patrols on the weekends, so that they can catch offenders. He also suggested that there should be a traffic court to deal with traffic offenders specifically, where fines could be doubled. Warner said that “people need to feel it in their pockets” in order for them to comply to traffic laws.
The Minister of National Security questioned “why must we have policemen breathing down your neck at every moment, to comply?” He stated that “something has to be wrong with a society that has the same slave mentality, that unless we have the whip hanging down your neck, you can’t conform.” Minister of Education, Tim Gopeesingh, spoke about the need to educate children about the importance of road safety. Gopeesingh also noted that the road fatalities contribute to the decrease in the country’s Gross Domestic Profit (GDP).
He pointed out that taxpayers invest their money in young people’s education so that the younger generation can develop the country. However, when the young person gets into a fatal accident, they are unable to put back what was invested.
All speakers present agreed on two points about road safety. The first is that the lack of discipline by many motorists in the country was the primary cause of road fatalities, and that people who usually die in road accidents are rarely the ones who cause them.