Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan is pleased with the significant reduction in road fatalities for 2020, but said his ministry was committed to continuing efforts with the police and other agencies to raise awareness and improve road safety.
In a media release on Wednesday, Sinanan said he noted figures reported by the police in December of only 96 traffic deaths for 2020, the lowest figure since 1957.
He credited the decrease to improved community education programmes and the introduction of the UTurn and Demerit Points systems to tackle errant drivers, as well as building partnerships with other agencies which could assist in recording traffic violations.
"The Ministry of Works and Transport launched the UTurn System in May 2020, forging real-time connectivity among the Judiciary, the police, the Licensing Authority, TT Postal Corporation (TTPOST) and the recently established Traffic Enforcement Centre Unit.
"This alliance laid the foundation for the operationalisation of the Demerit Points System, geared at changing the behaviour of drivers on the nation’s roads," he explained
The release reported that from May-December 2020, there were 9,254 recorded violations of drivers or passengers not wearing seat belts, 6,991 violations for drivers breaching traffic signs, 3,908 for exceeding the speed limit by ten-20 kilometres per hour and 3,492 violations for using mobile devices.
He said the reduction in fatalities was an historic achievement, but lamented that drivers continue to break the law and put themselves and others at risk of injury or death.
He vowed his ministry would continue to partner with the relevant agencies to formulate strategies and policies to clamp down on reckless driving.
He said tthe ministry was preparing to launch an education campaign on the amendments to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Windscreen and Window Tint) Regulations, which came into effect in August.
For the first time, he said, this amended legislation provides guidelines on the application of tint to windscreens and windows, "which hampers visibility and compromises road safety."
The regulations establish approved tint-measuring devices to be used by law enforcement and gives exemptions for using darker tint "in specific and necessary circumstances."
Sinanan also thanked the various agencies and the public for doing their part in reducing the number of road fatalities.