Tue | Sep 19, 2017

New Road Traffic Act not enough

Published:Thursday | April 20, 2017 | 4:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It's clear that several measures taken by authorities to curb the indiscipline among drivers on our roadways have not yielded the hoped-for results. The mayhem with the resulting loss of lives and property has continued.

Whereas I believe the new Road Traffic Act, which is now before Parliament, will address many of the issues that contribute to the high accident rate, l do not believe they go far enough.

We must now think entirely out of the box and look at how other jurisdictions have dealt with this matter.

In Singapore, for instance, the country was faced with the same indiscipline on the roads by taxi and minibus drivers. Mr Lee Kuan Yew took an entirely different approach by putting the onus on the insurance companies to control the drivers.

He gave the insurance regulators the power to delist any insurance company whose reported accidents were above a certain minimum threshold for a calendar year.

The effect of this pressure on the insurance companies pushed them to put in place very strict conditions on insured drivers. These included, drivers having to pass certain minimum driving and literacy tests and the inclusion of a two-strikes-and-you-are-out rule.

In addition, all taxi drivers are required to install cameras to capture the moment an accident occurs, providing the insurance companies with the information required to access the facts surrounding the accidents.

The above measures, if implemented here, will go a far way in reducing the accident and fatalities on our roads.

Winston D. Barrett

Manor Park