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Advocate makes another plea for breathalyzer testing

Road safety advocate Charmaine Roland-Bowen is asking Government for a special 50th Independence anniversary present – the long mooted breathalyzer legislation.

While two insurance companies –– Insurance Corporation of Barbados and Sagicor General Insurance –– were launching a campaign to monitor operators of privately owned public service vehicles, the Barbados Road Safety Association president was making an impassioned plea to Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley to act on the legislation.

Road safety advocate Charmaine Roland-Bowen

Road safety advocate Charmaine Roland-Bowen

“We want to use this opportunity as a platform to remind Mr Lashley and members of the Cabinet . . . that we need that breathalyzer legislation as soon as possible. You know November is soon going to be upon us . . . and we are hoping to have that as part of our 50th birthday gift for the general public . . . to see that this legislation is in place,” Roland-Bowen told Barbados TODAY on the sidelines Monday’s launch at Sagicor General in Wildey, St Michael.

“This is not only for the persons who are drinking and driving, but this would also be for the persons who are not drinking and driving. So we want him [Lashley] to remember those innocent persons that would abide by the law that would not drink and drive . . .  to get this legislation to save lives on our roads,” Roland-Bowen emphasized.

While backing the insurance initiative, the road safety advocate insisted there was need to get to the root of the problem, stressing that Government had the power to enact legislation to introduce breathalyzer testing.

She said some Caribbean countries had enacted breathalyzer laws, saying they demonstrated that they were concerned about the safety of their citizens.

“Those ministers care for those citizens’ lives, why can’t ours?  You can’t put money above lives  . . . . People’s lives must be a priority,” Roland-Bowen stressed.

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