Tuesday 16 October, 2018

Amendments coming to the Road Traffic Act

(l-r) Gina Welch, Administrator with the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB); President of the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) Sharmane Roland-Bowen; President of GIAB, Michael Holder and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Nicolla Simone-Rudder.

(l-r) Gina Welch, Administrator with the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB); President of the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) Sharmane Roland-Bowen; President of GIAB, Michael Holder and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Nicolla Simone-Rudder.

Persistence from the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) has paid off as proposed amendments to the Road Traffic Act are expected to be tabled in Parliament later this month.

The announcement was made Wednesday by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Nicolla Simone-Rudder during an event to mark the start of Road Safety month and also commemorate the sponsorship of a crosswalk by the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB) located at the corner of Country Road, The City.

President of the BRSA, Sharmane Roland-Bowen said the association, in light of the announced amendments, will be conducting a survey to gain more insight as to how distracted driving has been affecting road users.

“We are going to be getting those amendments to deal with distracted driving, alcoholic driving and so on. Before a law is put in place it would be good to see what percentage of Barbadians are driving distracted by using their cell phones. Then we will do another survey after the law has been put in place to see if persons are really complying and how effective it was.”

The details of the amendments were not disclosed but the BRSA has been lobbying Government to raise the legal drinking age in Barbados to 18 and also to increase the penalties for those who use their mobile phones while driving.

Roland-Bowen said for the month of November the BRSA will be spearheading a number of activities such as Crash Free Friday which is set for the last Friday in the month. She said the initiative, which started last year, had seen a tremendous reduction in the number of accidents on that particular day and she dubbed it a huge success. In addition, on the third Sunday of November, the BRSA will be recognising those who would have been seriously injured or killed in road accidents.

The BRSA will also be visiting schools across the islands to engage students on road safety awareness.