And with a long weekend ahead, head of the Traffic Department Inspector Cromwell Henry, is issuing a word of caution to motorists to not only refrain from speeding, but to observe and obey all traffic laws.
“Usually on a long weekend, people tend to be in a festive mood and they tend to imbibe and drive at excessive speeds. Based on the number of tickets that we issued on that particular morning and based on the complaints that we get from time to time from residents in certain villages and our radio shows, we are quite aware that speeding is still a problem on our roads.
“So with the activities over the holiday weekend, we anticipate that motorists would be under the influence of alcohol and so, in an effort to prevent this (drinking and driving/speeding), we would have our patrols on the road to curb these activities.”
The senior officer reminded of some of the precautions which should be taken to reduce either the likelihood of an accident or its impact.
“We take the opportunity now to advise motorists of the dangers of speeding and drinking while driving. It increases your risk of accident and it also increases the severity of the accident, should there be one. With that in mind, we are expecting that our drivers would exercise good sense and obey all traffic laws. We are also advising that drivers wear their seatbelts and if they are carrying children under 5 years in their vehicle to ensure that they are properly restrained in the car sea. We also advise motorcyclists and their pillion riders to wear approved headgear and to have these headgears properly strapped on their heads.”
Driver fatigue, Henry highlighted, is an issue which is often overlooked and disregarded, and when it is not dealt with properly, can also increase the risk of accidents.
“Driver fatigue is something that we tend to overlook but it is also a risk factor for road accidents. Drivers who might be partying all night even though you may not have been drinking alcohol while at a function, there is still possibility that you may be tired or sleepy having spent the night enjoying yourself and this also increases your risk of an accident if you fall asleep behind the wheel. So we ask persons to bear this in mind and to guard against it. If you are tired or sleepy, avoid driving even if it means parking and taking a nap until you are revived and then continue your journey.”
Another risk factor highlighted by the Inspector is the use of handheld mobile phones while driving. He warned that, “This should be avoided. These phones can adversely affect driver behaviour as regards physical task as well as perception and decision making. The processing of dialing affects your ability to keep a steady course on the road and again, that increases your risk of accident.”