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.
I am wondering if anyone here knows whether or not Acting Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith used to be attached to the C.I.D back in the 1980’s?
Are you kidding me …..when you see cab drivers having a shot at the rum shop, people getting off the cruises staggering into their cars, others leaving bars well over any limit if their was one, you should be happy you are only losing 30 people a year. Yes the roads are bad, the drivers fast, the pedestrians lackadaisical but get real how can you put out an article like this knowing all the people that are under the influence whether drugs or alcohol on your roads Yes you introduced a seatbelt law but that was only to keep the drunks upright..
The growing indiscipline on the roads is a symptom of something greater.
I am quite cognizant of the fact that violence against women is has been a big concern in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean for that matter. That’s a known fact that we ought not to deny. Now, several years ago I visited Barbados for the cropover festival. And it so happened that while I was In Barbados. I met a friend whom I had attended primary school with and hadn’t seen in many years. And standing next he was his girlfriend who hadn’t any front teeth in her mouth. So out of genuine curiosity, I decided to ask my classmate why his girlfriend hadn’t any teeth in this day and age. And he related to me a story that sent shocked wave through my head. He told me that her previous boyfriend knocked every one of her teeth out of the front of her mouth. And I said wow! That could have happened in America without serious consequences.
Now, here is another story: yet again I visited Barbados for cropover and while down in Barbados. I met this Trinidadian chick who was also vacationing in Barbados at the time. And about a year later she happened to moved to New York City permanently. And to make a long story short; she founded me with some effort of course. So we met up and started this romantic relationship. And while in the bed one tonight she related to me: that her previous boyfriend who had been Trinidadian of course. Took her to the beach one night and beat the living crap out of her for about two hours straight. She further stated that: there wasn’t anyway run to and no one to call on for help. She was on the beach of course and in the late in the evening. I am not trying to be insensitive but I said to myself: the beach to be the chosen spot for some island men to do their dirty business.
Nonetheless, I am not saying the violence again women do not according in the United States and other developed countries in the wider world. Because it does! But, they are laws on the book that acts as a deterrent to such behavior. Barbados as well as the other island in the Caribbean must placed greater emphasis on heightening the public awareness to this very sensitivity issue.
All I know is that if anyone DOES SH*T and hits my ride and I’m not hurt I WILL BE USING MY MACE !!!!
Dude are you serious? Would you honestly take another life for a peice of steel? Come on now! Human life ought to be much more valuable than your material stuff? You ought to give your thoughts some pensive contemplation Sir.
A great blackman has departed today. A BLACKMAN I love with my entire heart, because of the sacrifices he had made on behaft of BLACKPEOPLE. Nelson Mandela….. I love brother! Absence from the body in the presence of God. REST IN PEACE Nelson Mandela.
i will say it again for the umpteenth time. If we need to ‘arrest’ the atrocious indiscipline that is blatantly displayed by our drivers on our highways ,we have to start at the very bottom. That little boy,(and some hard back young men on children’s bikes), on the bicycle who bobs and weaves among traffic. Rides on the wrong side of the road and on the side walk. Rides without a light at night .Has no warning bell on the bicycle. Ignores traffic lights and Stop Signs and does wheelies in the midst of traffic on the highway. Curses other road user. And who the police and the authorities have paid very little attention to , is not only our ZR and Minibus ,and taxi Driver of today, but also our motor cycle rider, quad rider and ordinary car driver.
And his defence would be , “I was doing these very same things that you are now gribbling about for ages when I was a bicyclist, and no body said a word to me. How dare you now to chastise me as a vehicle driver?”
There is a wise old saying ,Bend the tree while it is young .
I must agree with Lawson. we are damn lucky to have on average 30 fatalities per year. In addition to what he said. Our street lighting system in general in Barbados is of a low quality, just good enough in many places from stopping a pedestrians from stumping his toe,or tripping over . Yet Barbadians still persist in wearing dark clothing when walking the street at nights,and also in areas where no street lighting is fitted. How people are not ran over is pure luck.
The stupid old people of yesterday used to advise others to wear something white or light coloured at nights.
Driving at night in Barbados poses its own brand of danger. Drivers no longer seem to extend the courtesy of dipping their head lights. In fact many now have ,and use auxiliary fog / driving lamps in conjunction with the head lamps. Four or six blaring lamps at the front,as they say , In your face.
But it goes further than that. The head lamp beams of many many vehicles in Barbados are out of adjustment,and in such cases may spot directly into the eyes of an oncoming driver. One wonders if there are facilities in Barbados to adjust headlamps , and do vehicle owners take advantage of it. This should be mandatory with all PSV’s
We drive on the left hand side of the road, like the British and the Japanese, and when we dip our headlights the low beam is directed towards the near side, or the gutter on our LEFT side. Many replacement bulbs coming into Barbados have been purchased wholesale in the United States, where they drive on the Right side of the road, and headlamps there are dipped towards the RIGHT side of the road. Therefore when these US bulbs are fitted to our RHD cars,when we go into the dip beam mode, the beam is now directed towards the centre of the road and into the face of an oncoming driver.
You could learn as lot from a dummy.
There were three serious accidents in the last two days alone. I can’t find the links online though.
I would have thought that 30 fatalities would have been way too many for a small population like that of Barbados? And who are you comparing your numbers to by the way? Now are you comparing your numbers to the previous years?
Several accidents on the road today, madness.
Mark Fenty, Mace does not kill (yuh idiot)!
A Mace was also a club like armour piercing weapon of war,fitted with a flange and spike metal head.
Probably the ideal Head Breaker weapon of choice referred to recently by one of our illustrious ministers of government.
The way Barbadians drive is a reflection of how stupid people are on the island. Barbados is a shitty little island with idiotic people who think they live on paradise.
According to statistics in 2010 for reported accidents from the Police website 8133 were reported in 2010. Divided by 365. 22 accidents daily on our roads. Wow. No wonder you have to wait long for an accident report. HAHA!
At least the garages are getting some work if at the expense of forex leaving the island.