Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr Morais Guy, says the ministry remains committed to making the nation's roads safer for all users.
He gave this undertaking against the background of the 219 road fatalities recorded from approximately 194 accidents occurring up to September 25 this year.
Speaking at last Friday's launch of the Ministry's three-month islandwide road-safety campaign at the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre in Kingston, Dr Guy, who has oversight for road safety, said the proposed legislation will entail limiting the use of cell phones and other in-car devices while driving.
It will also include stiffer penalties for breaches of the road code; certification of driving instructors who, in turn, will teach a standardised curriculum as part of a new graduated licensing system which will see drivers being licensed in phases.
Additionally, the minister said the Island Traffic Authority (ITA) will be restructured and fully empowered "as that agency of the ministry will have the remit to suspend or annul the licence of the drivers."
Dr Guy said the number of road accidents occurring this year, to date, brings into sharp focus a "gripping and tragic crisis" across the nation. He lamented that "we are seeing our streets washed with the blood of our people as a result of road crashes."
Giving a breakdown of the 219 road fatalities over the first nine months of the year, Dr Guy informed that 68 were pedestrians; 30 private motor vehicle drivers; 39 motor car passengers; 34 motorcyclists; six public passenger vehicle (PPV) drivers; 15 passengers in buses and taxis; 18 pedal cyclists; seven pillion passengers; and 22 students.
The road safety campaign is being undertaken as part of the ministry's efforts to further heighten awareness across the nation of the need for persons to exercise caution and responsible behaviour while using the roads.