BRSA: Survey finds support for breathalyzers among visitors

A recent survey among visitors to Barbados revealed a high level over the absence of breathalyzer testing here, the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) said.

BRSA President Sharmane Roland-Bowen said more than half of those surveyed said they did not feel safe on the island’s road without the test to determine the level of alcohol in drivers’ blood.

However, the size of the sample left questions about the credibility of the results and how it should be interpreted, with Roland-Bowen revealing that only 57 people took part.

Addressing a media conference yesterday at the association’s Rendezvous, Christ Church office to officially launch its War on Drink Driving campaign, the BRSA head said the authorities had delayed the measure for much too long and had been offering too many excuses for their inaction.

“[One of the] questions was, ‘on a scale of one to five, with five being the safest, how safe do you feel driving or being driven on our roads?’ Fifty-three per cent of those persons rated two; 18 per cent rated three; 12 per cent rated one; ten per cent rated four; and five per cent rated a five,” the road safety advocate said.

“For decades this country has been using the excuse of being a rum producing country and saying the introduction of the breathalyzer will reduce the number of persons visiting this island even though the accidents on our road continue to increase.”

She said the survey of visitors from the United Kingdom, Canada and United States had debunked that theory.

“[We asked] ‘would you like to see breathalyzer and its legislation introduced here in Barbados?’ One hundred per cent of those surveyed said yes,” she said, adding all of the respondents also said they would still visit Barbados if breathalyzer and accompanying legislation were introduced here.

Roland-Bowen said 95 per cent of the respondents were unaware that Barbados did not have breathalyzer testing or accompanying legislation.

She did not reveal when the survey was conducted or the margin of error.

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