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Police to step up road safety drive for Carnival

Published: 
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Members of the Trinidad and Tobago National Road Safety Council pose for a photograph with Transport Minister Devant Maharaj at the inauguration ceremony, Hyatt Regency, Port-o-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

Newly-appointed member of the T&T National Road Safety Council, Assistant Commissioner of Police Wayne Richardson says there will be greater use of the breathalyser and more police patrols during the Carnival season. He reminded citizens that using their cellphones while driving was illegal. Richards said it was the intention of the T&T Police Service (TTPS) “to ramp up” activities to prevent road fatalities, particularly as it was the Carnival season. He said there was a 12 per cent reduction in road fatalities last year.

 

He said the benchmark was ten per cent, but the Police Service was able to achieve 12 per cent. He was speaking at the distribution of appointments to members of the council at the ministry’s office, International Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. The council has been approved by Cabinet. Richards said the establishment of the council came at an opportune time. He said over the last four years, there was a continuous reduction in the statistics for road fatalities.

 

Asked what were the plans by the police to reduce the road fatalities, especially during Carnival, Richards said: “Greater presence of police officers, greater use of the breathalyser, more targeted patrols because we have situations where people still appear not to recognise that using your cellphones while driving is also illegal. “So in all our policing activities on the roadways we will be targeting speed, persons driving under the influence and those who are using their cellphones while driving,” he added. Brent Batson of Arrive Alive said the establishment of the council was at infancy stage.

 

“It is a national problem and only by working together we will get the solutions,” he said. “It has to be based on data-driven strategies.” Batson said injury prevention was the goal and that education and enforcement were important for creating a culture change in a short time.

 

Council members

• Myrna Thompson—chairman
• ACP Wayne Richardson
• Norbert Knights—traffic management inspector
• Hansen Stewart—Ministry of the Attorney General
• Nivan Persad—ATTIC
• Brent Batson–Arrive Alive
• Samuel Joseph—Latin America and the Caribbean Road Danger Reduction Forum
• Reuben Cato—Transport Commissioner