Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Enforce traffic laws

Published:Saturday | April 30, 2016 | 4:00 AM


The increased coverage of road safety in your publication is welcome. The comments from the distinguished participants in your Editors' Forum article of Friday, April 29, 2016 were familiar calls to road users: "Adhere to the regulations." "Beware, the law will be enforced." "We will use education and moral suasion." It was refreshing that one comment was directed to the authorities: "Get the engineering of our roads right."

There needs to be fresh ideas along with the improvements in the revised law. Some officials have a reputation for not listening. Recommendations are ignored. I urge you, Mr Editor, to invite a wider cross section of individuals to future forums on this topic. They could include many letter writers to the editor such as Dr Garth Rattray (10/03/2014), Handel Johnson (10/06/2014), Glenn Tucker (18/06/2014) and Mr Michael Nicholson (10/04/2010). Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee, director of the Mona Informatics Unit at UWI, has mapped crash sites, and many rural justices of the peace could offer views from their perspective.

It could be useful to ask a couple of simple questions: Why are there so many slow-moving lines of traffic on our rural highways where dangerous overtaking occurs? Why has a 65 km/h speed limit not been initiated to complement our current 50km/h and 80km/h limits? Why do we build dual carriageways at great expense and post limits of 50km/h, which are not enforced during peak traffic conditions and apparently are not needed to be enforced?

Improvements in the law will be welcome. Changes to the regulations, such that road users will more readily conform, will also be appreciated, along with more focused enforcement. More respect to road users should result in more respect in return.

Other countries have shown dramatic improvements in road safety over time after making changes to encourage compliance. I hope we can widen our perspective and show similar improvements.