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New laws can change driving culture

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I am appealing to the authorities that be, to please do all you can to bring into full force, the new changes to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Laws. There are just too many examples of people dying needlessly on our roads.

I just read in one of the daily newspapers, the very sad account of the nation’s latest road traffic accident. The sad truth is that most traffic accidents can be avoided if everyone behind the wheel would remain at the speed limit or below, pay attention on the road and not engage in any activity that takes one’s attention away from staying safe. Driving is a privilege, not a right, so as drivers we are all required to play by all of the rules.

But what I’ve read and heard about the new laws give me hope that the driving culture in Trinidad and Tobago can change. These amendments to the law seem like they will help a great deal in enforcing safety because they will provide new systems that will allow law enforcement to more closely monitor and penalise deviant drivers.

For instance the Red Light Camera System will photograph all vehicles that break the red light and generate a notice with a specific fine that will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.

The Demerit Points System will attach traffic offences to prescribed demerit points and other stipulated penalties in effect, thereby providing the Licensing Authority with the required information to suspend the driving permit of a regularly errant driver.

As well, the Spot Speed Camera Enforcement System will allow the law to use special technology to measure the speed of vehicles and enforce the speed limits laws. This system will not rely on the presence of a police officer to detect speeding violations.

But there will always be the individuals who believe the rules don’t apply to them and they will take a chance and speed, talk on the phone or engage in some other careless activity that can kill you, me or any of our loved ones. But with any luck, the new laws will help to clamp down on these deviants and force them into driving safer.

So please, Mr Minister of Works and Transport, do all you can to make sure this bill is passed.

Gail Davis


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