Senator Calls for Aggressive Road Safety Campaign

Photo: Adrian Walker Government Senator, Kavan Gayle, highlights a point while making his contribution to the debate on the new Road Traffic Bill in the Senate on Friday (May 4).

Story Highlights

  • Government Senator, Kavan Gayle, has called for an aggressive public education campaign aimed at changing the unruly behavior of many motorists, particularly taxi operators.
  • “Many drivers have completely ignored the warnings to not overload vehicles, don’t drive when tired, don’t drink and drive, to desist from speeding, to always wear seat belts and helmets (and so on). There has to be an aggressive education campaign treating with the major objective to change the behavior, so that we can reduce the carnage on our roads,” he said.
  • Opposition Senator, K.D. Knight, for his part, said that the police should be given the power to seize the driver’s licence of motorists who are found to be illiterate.

Government Senator, Kavan Gayle, has called for an aggressive public education campaign aimed at changing the unruly behavior of many motorists, particularly taxi operators.

“Many drivers have completely ignored the warnings to not overload vehicles, don’t drive when tired, don’t drink and drive, to desist from speeding, to always wear seat belts and helmets (and so on). There has to be an aggressive education campaign treating with the major objective to change the behavior, so that we can reduce the carnage on our roads,” he said.

He was making his contribution to debate on the New Road Traffic Bill in the Senate on Friday (May 4).

Opposition Senator, K.D. Knight, for his part, said that the police should be given the power to seize the driver’s licence of motorists who are found to be illiterate.

“You have a lot of people out there who can’t read and write who are (in possession of) a driver’s licence… . (They have) no business on the road,” he said.

Senator Knight said he supports the Bill, generally, but raised concerns regarding proper road signage, the mandatory requirement for motorists to be in possession of their driver’s licence at all times, and enforcement.

Opposition Senator Sophia Fraser-Binns also voiced support for the Bill, and called for a provision to penalise persons who cause accidents that damage road infrastructure.

“It is the Government that has to fix these damaged properties. I would’ve wanted to see some provision that allows some kind of payment to the State, particularly after someone has been found culpable of causing the accident,” she said.

Meanwhile, in his contribution, Government Senator, Charles Sinclair, proposed that refresher driving courses should be a requirement for motorists who have committed offences, and every three years for all holders of a driver’s licence.

He also raised concerns regarding the modification of vehicles, disabled parking areas, being in a collision with an animal, and treating with handcarts.

For his part, Opposition Senator Lambert Brown called for more traffic police to be deployed in order to deal with the indiscipline on the roads.

“We need more policemen on the roads to deal with the bad drivers and those breaching the rules. When they are sanctioned, then they will change their behaviour. I’m calling for a doubling of the (number of) policemen and women for traffic,” he said.

The Bill, which was passed in the Lower House with 131 amendments on February 6, seeks to repeal and replace the existing 1938 Act and will establish new offences as well as provide increased penalties for breaches.

The debate was suspended until a date to be announced.

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