Jensen La Vende
WITH less than four months gone this year, the total road death toll is near half the toll for all of 2021, head of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Unit, Snr Supt Wayne Mystar said, as he encouraged citizens to make better choices on the roads.
Speaking at the police weekly media briefing at Police Administration Building in Port of Spain on Thursday, Mystar said the 2021 toll of 75 is the lowest in recorded history and he wants it to be even lower.
“Last year we had 75 fatalities, the lowest in the recorded history of Trinidad and Tobago and that is as a result of the efforts of the traffic patrol branch, together with other stakeholders, who played a meaningful role as it relates to road safety.
“Moving on to 2022, we at the Traffic and Highway Patrol Branch have noticed, since the movement of the economy, that there has been a high level of reckless and inconsiderate drivers. To date, we have 31 fatalities compared to 24, for the corresponding period, in 2021.”
Mystar said the unit will be working assiduously to keep road deaths to a minimum and he said there will be more roadblock and speed-trap exercises on the Easter holiday weekend. He reminded that speeding is a major contributor to road fatalities.
Road Safety Co-ordinator Sgt Brent Batson said the police have noted a pattern among drivers where they follow too closely behind vehicles. He advised that at the speed limit, on the highway, of 100 km/hr, drivers should be five car lengths away from each other.
He said that in many fatal accidents victims are ejected from the vehicle and urged drivers and passengers to buckle up.
“We continue to see a lot of people being ejected from vehicles, which again is suggesting a lack of seatbelt use. Now what is interesting because with digital U-turn ticketing system, lack of seatbelt use is still the number one most ticketed behaviour on the road.”
Batson said he thought the country had passed the stage of not wearing seatbelts.
While it is not the law, he encouraged rear seat passengers to also wear seatbelts. He advised drivers to check their driving documents to ensure they are not expiring over the holiday weekend before heading out.