The Senate has approved Regulations facilitating the placement of spikes on the toll road off ramps, in an effort to deter motorists from reversing onto the road.
Tyre deflation devices, or spikes, are used to impede or stop the movement of vehicles by puncturing their tyres.
Opening the debate on Friday, March 8, Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, said over time, the toll road has become plagued by motorists who, in an effort to avoid the toll fees, reverse onto the slip roads adjoining the toll road.
“This has created great cause for concern due to injuries, damage and fatalities, resulting from the collision between these motorists and unsuspecting legitimate users exiting the toll road,” he stated.
The last fatality occurred on August 22, 2011, Mr. Golding said.
The Justice Minister further noted that the police have been trying to stop the practice, but due to resource constraints, are unable to provide the physical presence of an officer at the locations at all times.
“Once [the police are] absent the motorists reverse onto the toll road, therefore, any solution to be implemented must therefore provide 24 hour deterrence,” he emphasised.
Mr. Golding advised that the spikes will not affect legitimate toll road users, adding that signs would be put in place at strategic locations to inform motorists of the devices.
Additionally, under the Regulations, the Toll Road Operator is responsible to retract the device for the use of the road by emergency service providers. The law also stipulates that it is an offence to interfere with, alter, damage, destroy or remove the device.
He noted that the Ministry of Transport was advised by the Attorney General’s Chambers that the Road Traffic Act and the Toll Road Act have a legal basis on which spikes may be installed on a slip road.
In supporting the Regulations, Opposition Senator, Tom Tavares-Finson, said the installation of the device was necessary to prevent tragic accidents from taking place on the toll roads.
“The device being contemplated is one similar to what is used on the Ring Road at the University of the West Indies, Mona and it seems to operate quite well,” he said.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker