THE EDITOR, Sir:
The authorities and the Government are also to blame for the tragedy which resulted in the deaths of four Holmwood students on September 25. It is a clear reflection of the lack of enforcement of the measures which would prevent motorists who are habitual offenders from driving on our roads.
It is imperative to state a number of key points.
1. The primary role of Government is to ensure the protection of life, liberty, rights and property. And for this reason, it is entrusted with the authority to pass and enforce laws to ensure order in the society.
2. It is basic knowledge that the majority of human beings in various circumstances at home, school, workplace, on our roads, etc, will naturally break rules and disobey laws when it is perceived that this will confer an advantage or result in personal gratification.
3. Human nature is such that it cannot be refined, it can only be confined. The animal-like instinct within all of us is confined through socialisation (which allows us to behave in a certain manner and adhere to established and accepted norms in society) and also by the fear or risk of receiving punishment when we fail to conform.
4. People, in general, will disobey laws/rules when they know that they will not be caught or, when caught, will not be punished, or if punishment does not serve as a deterrent.
5. The drivers of the minibuses involved in the Holmwood tragedy had each, in a relatively short period of time, accumulated more than a hundred traffic tickets! These drivers are habitual offenders. And based on the number of points which they should have accumulated, their driver's licences should have long been suspended or revoked.
We all have a responsibility to drive and use the roads wisely and safely. Carelessness and recklessness can never be condoned.
Morais Guy, non-portfolio minister in the transport ministry, has indicated that a new bill will be piloted in Parliament regarding road safety. What is the point in passing more laws if the previously existing, or even the newer ones will not be enforced? Enforce the laws and the laws will be enforced!
If the authorities continue to fail to make our roads safer, we will continue to have similar tragedies involving schoolers and others.
DAIVE R. FACEY