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Traffic cops not equipped to do job

Published:Saturday | June 7, 2014 | 12:00 AM


It has been proposed that punishments for offences under the Road Traffic Act are to be increased substantially. This will have no effect whatsoever, I submit, with the exception of further alienating the public whose perception of roadside corruption lingers despite many convictions.

It is clear that the police, whose main job it is to enforce traffic laws, are woefully ill-equipped to carry out their duties, let alone the standard of training they receive.

Thursday evening, near Unity Hall in St James, there was an accident involving at least a small truck and a Coaster bus. It was raining heavily and getting dark, yet the three police in attendance appeared to have no hand-held lights or torches and were certainly not wearing fluorescent vests.

This number of personnel was totally inadequate to deal with this incident and, of course, the cast of hundreds who left their vehicles and rushed to soak up what gory visions they could. This is a classic example of the need for more specially trained traffic cops.

In addition to this, where is the equipment that they are going to use to monitor speeding offences, and how often will it be recalibrated and tested? I have personal experience of a police corporal showing me a monitor with 70kph on it when I knew that I had been travelling at 40kph. The reason I knew (and I had witnesses) was I saw him at work when I went to fetch a paper and was very careful on the return trip. I also know how this scam is set up.

Now I am the first to support fair policing and the officers who carry it out, but this leap in proposed fines without the requisite upgrading of support in terms of training and equipment will lead nowhere positive.

In addition, the National Works Agency needs to review and replace a huge number of road signs and road markings. The Transport Authority, another bastion of perceived corruption, also needs to clean its act up.

It's almost as if the two road-safety organisations behind this are living in cuckoo land, and having failed miserably to reduce road carnage, they have chosen a piece à la Lewis Carroll instead.


Lucea PO, Hanover