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Road map to safety

The dangerous junction of Prior Park and road leading to Thorpes, St. James.

by Emmanuel Joseph

A sustained and intense safer roads campaign is to be launched in Barbados next month.

Police Sergeant in Charge of the Traffic Division, Trevor Boyce, told Barbados TODAY this afternoon, that the Royal Barbados Police Force was particularly worried about how dangerous the island’s streets had become.

Boyce expressed concern that last year this country recorded an increase in accidents, particularly those that resulted in deaths.

“Last year there were 25 fatal accidents resulting in 28 deaths, compared with 20 fatal accidents that took the lives of 22 people in 2011. So you can see there was an increase of five fatal accidents and an increase of six deaths,” observed the traffic cop.

“This year we will try to do a public awareness or public education programme to get the message across to the public on making our roads safer. So that is what we will focus on this year, hopefully starting next month.”

The junction at the top of Holder’s Hill, St.James.

The police spokesman on traffic said his division had also identified a number of dangerous intersections or junctions at which accidents regularly occurred.

He identified the D’arcy Scott Roundabout in Warrens, which tended to attract frequent accidents since it was rebuilt some months ago.

“There were engineering flaws at first on how traffic flowed. That contributed to the accidents, even though they got it right eventually, there is need for more consultation with the people on the ground, with the police. That doesn’t exist,” asserted Boyce.

The lawman also confirmed the existence of a series of other dangerous junctions where the number of accidents caused them some corncern. These included Groves Road in St. Philip; the junction at Groves, St. George where five roads converge; Turnpike near Bulkeley Factory, St. George, where four roads merge; the St. David’s junction, Christ Church; and the Jericho, St. George junction.

The Proute intersection near Applewhaites in St. George, and the Mangrove St. Philip junction are also of major worry to the force. A Barbados today team, which went on the road this afternoon too observe some of these areas, also identified the top of Holder’s Hill, St. James, Hoyte’s Village Main Road near the constituency office of St. James Central Opposition Barbados Labour Party candidate, Kerrie Symmonds, the junction of Prior Park and the road leading to Thorpes, and the narrow “blind” corner on Reeves Hill, St. James, where a mass casualty occurred last Friday evening.

Boyce believes he has a solution that could help reduce accidents in these danger zones.

“There could be more signage, restructuring of the junctions by making the angles less acute to allow for easier viewing. Motorists should also practise looking right first, then left and right again. But people in Barbados do the opposite; they look right then left and left again and considering they are driving on the left hand side, they forget the man on the right,” he noted.††

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