In commemoration of Global Road Safety Week, from May 6-12, the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment highlighted some of the major road issues that threaten the lives of pedestrians and drivers in Tobago.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, in a two minute video on road safety, highlighted the importance of obeying traffic regulations and road signs, especially when driving on the Claude Noel Highway.
Garrick implored drivers to observe the solid white line marked in the middle of the road and not overtake on the highway.
According to the ACP, this is one traffic regulation many drivers have shown disregard for.
He said, “The line indicates the road is not to overtake, and further west of me near the Light and Life Pentecostal school, there is a sign that indicates ‘No Overtaking.’ However from time to time you will see road users overtake dangerously on the roadway. It is against the law. The solid white line strictly prohibits overtaking.”
He reminded drivers that there is a school in the area and school children are using the highway to cross often. “It brings a potential danger to our young students. We must be mindful to pay attention to the strictness and lawfulness of the markings of the road and the signage. We can ensure that we diminish carnage on the roads. I implore you to take observation of the road signs and pay attention to the law.”
Licensing Officer, Tobago Division, Michael Looby also encourages Tobagonians to be road safe and observe all road signs. He stressed on the importance of wearing the seatbelt as a lifesaving move when travelling.
He recalled a recent road fatality that occurred last month where Keon Lewis, 31, of #1 Village street Mt St George was killed in a collision with a white panel van. Lewis was driving his Nissan Navara along Silk Cotton Trace when he collided with the van and suffered serious injuries. He died en route to the Scarborough General hospital.
An autopsy conducted on Lewis days after revealed he died after sustaining chest injury and a severed artery. Before the autopsy, Lewis’s mother Marsha Lewis called on drivers not to drink and drive. She told Newsday her son refused to wear seatbelt and she believes he would have been alive today if he had listened to her by following the regulation.
Looby in the video also said Lewis was killed by the impact because he was not wearing his seatbelt. “Some people don’t want to wear their seatbelts, and it’s for their own safety. Also a lot of people in Tobago like to carry passengers in the tray of the vehicle and that is very dangerous. In the event of an impact, all those in the tray will be thrown from the vehicle and could be injured or even killed.”
Nadia Frank John, Transportation Manager attached to the division pleaded with drivers travelling along the Milford road near the Bon Accord primary school to observe the traffic light and the zebra crossing. She said in the past there have been a number of traffic infractions at that location causing danger to students. She asked drivers to proceed with caution and adhere to the traffic signals.