Last update: 11-Dec-2013 8:26 pm
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Cops, media get credit for drop in road deaths
The road safety lobby group Arrive Alive yesterday credited the media and the police for a decrease in the number of road fatalities for the year. Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday, in a phone interview, the organisation's president Sharon Inglefield said the constant awareness provided by the media had assisted with keeping the issue of road safety on the front burner. The organisation posted on its Facebook wall on October 15, “As at 14th October we have decreased the number of fatal crashes from 133 of last year to 104 this year (a 22 per cent decrease) and we have decreased the number of fatalities from 153 to 121. This is a 21 per cent decrease in the number of loved ones lost on our roads.”
The organisation received some criticism on its page for the comment but later said the statistics were confirmed by the police and Arrive Alive was not taking credit for the decrease.
The media, said Inglefield, highlighted the need for drivers to be vigilant. She also applauded “proactive” police officers who issued tickets for driving under the influence (DUI) offences and congratulated drivers for being more vigilant on the roads and for driving defensively. But pedestrian fatalities have increase this year, and Inglefield said more education was needed in schools to teach children to “Think. Stop. Listen and Look.” The general public, she said, also needed to be educated and the concept needed to become a part of the way the general public thought. She called on the media to highlight the problem of pedestrian fatalities as well.
Inglefield said more legislation was needed to revamp the Licensing Office as well as to improve the competence of drivers to ensure that safe drivers are put on the roads. Inglefield said her organisation had met with the Ministry of Transport as well as the Prime Minister and the President. Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, in a phone interview yesterday, confirmed there had been a significant reduction in fatal accidents. He was unable to give a precise figure as he had just returned from the opening of the Duncan Street Police Post, but said the statistics provided by Arrive Alive were most likely accurate, since the organisation usually verifies its data with the police traffic and highway patrol branch. He attributed the reduction to greater police presence on the highways, especially in areas, identified from analysis, where fatal accidents persistently occur. Another contributory factor, he said, was the increased usage of breath tests and citizens complying with the road rules. Williams said there has also been increased detection of those driving under the influence of alcohol.
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