JIS News

Sub-officer in charge of traffic at the Manchester Police Department, Sergeant Lancelot Fraser, has reported that there has been a significant decrease in road accidents in the parish for the first seven months of the year.
In a recent interview with JIS News, Sergeant Fraser disclosed that 300 accidents have taken place over the period January to July 2008, compared to 451 accidents for the similar period in 2007. “We are doing better,” he stated.
He told JIS News that the improvement is largely attributable to a number of initiatives on the part of the police. These include the heavy deployment of law enforcement officers in black spots where accidents frequently occur, such as the Winston Jones Highway; an increase in speed checks; and the police maintaining greater visibility on the roads.
According to Sergeant Fraser, operators of public passenger vehicles continue to pose the greatest challenge for the police, as they constantly breach the road traffic regulations, even though they accounted for only 20 per cent of road fatalities for January to July 2007.
“Our greatest challenges are with the operators of public passenger vehicles. In terms of moving violations, they commit more than the persons, who operate private motor vehicles because it would appear that they are always in a hurry. They commit more careless and dangerous driving, but in terms of fatalities, as our statistics would show for this year, out of the 10 fatal accidents, only two involved public passenger vehicles, and the two that involved public passenger vehicles, the drivers were not at fault,” he told JIS News.
Sergeant Fraser said that in recent times, there has been greater adherence to the road traffic regulations, resulting from increased vigilance on the part of the police in prosecuting offenders. He insisted that many of the persons ticketed on a daily basis are repeat offenders, who expect the police to “feel sorry for them” and treat them with leniency. Failure to wear uniforms and use the designated taxi and bus parks, and transporting excess passengers, are some of the most commonly committed offences. He informed that south-borne taxi operators are particularly guilty of such violations, and contribute greatly to the congestion in the town centre.
Sergeant Fraser also noted that the illicit use of the permit parking zones reserved for private motorists, by these taxi operators, is also partially responsible for the congestion. He said the traffic police has had to be assisting the municipal police in ensuring that these parking zones are used for the purpose they are intended.
According to Sergeant Fraser, motorists are generally receptive of the actions of the police, as most persons are concerned about the wanton loss of lives on the road.
He is reminding members of the public that the job of the traffic police is not to walk around and issue tickets, but rather, to ensure that motorists operate within the parameters of the law. He further stated that the police will be making a concerted effort to maintain the current trend and keep fatalities lower this year than last year, and as such, is seeking the full cooperation of all road users.