President of the TT Road Safety Council Stan Huggins is calling on government to properly address issues of road safety as he lamented the absence of provisions in the budget for road safety initiatives.
Huggins said road safety should remain a top-tier priority of government adding he is disheartened by road fatalities as he recalled the death of three friends along the Solomon Hochoy Highway last week. He said that accident and similar incidents could be avoided with effective policing and improvement in infrastructure.
“Those three men were returning from a birthday party and the driver was tired, this could have been avoided if there were rest stops for drivers along the highway where they can stop and take a break from driving. I have been requesting a meeting between the council and the Minister of Works to discuss some initiatives, but he hasn’t taken me up on it.”
Huggins said that in addition to an increased police presence and stiffer penalties for errant motorists, there must also be adequate education to the public and called on licensing officials to inspect the qualifications of driving instructors and have mandatory certification exams for all driving schools.
“The qualifications for becoming a driving instructor are that you must be the holder of a valid driver’s license for at least three years.
“We are saying that is not enough to ensure the safety of motorists. We are asking that licensing officials and inspectors ensure that these instructors undergo necessary programmes for certification so that they can better ensure everyone is aware of the law.”
Asked if he was concerned by proposed discussions by government on raising the speed limit on highways from 80 to 100 km, Huggins said while he is not against this move, greater vigilance on the part of police is necessary.