Submitted by Posh
Hi everyone, I’ve contributed some articles here before, and they have been met with nice civil discussion. I like to shed light on things which might be affecting people but which are not yet topical in the media. Today’s article is all about drivers, our roads, their behaviour and what are we doing about it?
I was very saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life of the drainage division worker. Who in the twilight of her life, and looking to soon reap the rewards of retirement, was cut down by reckless driving. I don’t need to go into too much detail about the constant reckless behaviour and indifference on our roads. Most of us either drive cars, drive in them or in public service vehicles and see the behaviour of some drivers on our roads.
Daily people are using the expanded ABC highway as their personal speed zone. It is funny in a not so humorous way when you see someone zip past you at 120km, nearly clip your bumper and several other cars, then only to be right behind them at the next round about. After having placed so many lives in danger.
You have the indifferent don’t care people who park ALL over side walks all over town, all over the country. It seems that we should rename sidewalks to sideparks, because more cars park on them than people walk on them. Forcing people to then walk into the road.
Continuing with indifferent people, you have those who will stop and park anywhere on any busy street if it conveniences them, such as to use the ATM, or to make a purchase at some corner shop.
Public service vehicles. These guys don’t wait in line. Where there is a line expect them to utilize another lane, and ‘bore’ when they get to the top. A perfect example is lower Collymore rock every evening. Patient drivers wait in the left lane. When you see a minibus or route 10 zr, they are zooming up the right lane, and ‘boring’ into the top. Without fail they all do it.
Let’s look at life of Barbados roundabout or Garfield Sobers. You have two lanes for most of the way but when you reach the top there is a third lane to go left to Rendezvous. Persons will zoom down the right side then cut in at the top, daring people to hit their car, causing the left lane to be further backed up with patient and waiting drivers.
But how long can patient drivers stand this? What is the breaking point? Where is the enforcement? I’ve seen on some rare occasions when the police catch one of these indifferent drivers and pull out the notebook, all of the decent driver’s are cheering. A champion for their cause.
But that brings me to the other end. Where is the enforcement these days? A few years ago there seemed to be as many motorcycle people as Zr’s and they had the Zr’s under control with an operation they termed ‘Road Order Maintenance’ a zero tolerance approach to all traffic offences.
Well these days if you see cyclist, take a picture, it is a rare moment. If you drive along by Police Hq you are likely to catch a glimpse of them walking in and out of HQ with loads of envelopes and paper. It seems that someone has decided that the police traffic enforcement officers, are the Force’s mailmen and mail women. I wonder if the Force ever heard of email or electronic correspondence. Since Government departments deliver correspondence, it is only fair to assume that the correspondence handled by cyclists is internally generated.
Where are the radars? You used to see motor cyclists along the side of the road in trouble areas with hand held radars, you used to even see specialized Nissan speed cars patrolling the highways. Most people know that police cars generally do not carry radars and therefore they are not intimated by the presence of a police vehicle.
Are speed traps only set at night? Why? At 1 in the morning who is more likely to be hurt by a speeder? Not saying not to target them too, but what about the speeders during the day, where they have plenty people around to hurt because of the crowded traffic conditions? It seems no one takes these things seriously.
But I bet we get almost as many road deaths each year as murders. Which means that the state of our roads and the lack of enforcement is just as likely to cause your death as some random planned murder. People are driving recklessly on the roads all day long. I wonder how many persons are prosecuted for reckless driving?
Let’s see the law here: Any person who drives a motor vehicle on a road recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, including the nature, condition and use of the road at the time or might reasonably be expected to be on the road at the time, is guilty of an offence.
We usually see persons get prosecuted only if someone dies. But the law mentioned nothing about someone having to die, for the offence to be committed. So when persons overtake 6 vehicles on the highway and cause me to pull off the road is this not dangerous driving? Can I not report the offender to the police who will then prosecute? Is not a traffic offense against the law and therefore a crime? When crimes are committed and the police are not present, the person who is the victim makes a statement and the police investigate and prosecute, how is it any different for traffic?
The Force seems to be doing an excellent job in these difficult times of tight resources, lack of funding and shortage of police officers. They seem to have a handle on crime. Excellent work all around there. But please I plead with the Force, take a look at the conditions of the road. Do your own analysis, accidents, deaths, we need Police to enforce traffic laws too. If 30 people a year die in accidents as a result of dangerous driving, how can we be proud when that figure might be more than the number of killings?
If someone from the Force sees this or it is brought to their attention, consider that a society can be judged how orderly it is based on how they behave as drivers on the road. Look at Trinidad and Jamaica. The state of their roads and drivers decayed over time due to lack of enforcement. It is every man for himself, do we want this to happen in Barbados? The longer it remains unchecked, the more likely it is to become a norm of life than an offense.