‘Upset’ advocate wants immediate action to end road fatalities

With Barbados averaging one road fatality every five days, one of the country’s most vocal road safety advocates has led a stinging attack of political leaders, accusing them of doing next to nothing to stop the slide.

President of the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) Sharmane Roland-Bowen said the number of deaths was a message to the authorities, who appeared not to be listening.

Roland-Bowen reserved her harshest criticism for members of the Freundel Stuart administration, complaining that they were failing road users by inaction on the relevant legislation to curtail road accidents.

Barbados last night recorded its 11th road fatality for the year, surpassing the ten recorded for all of last year.

“Not one of our ministers see it fit to address this problem and lives are being lost on roads. Not one of them see it as a message telling them of the importance to interact to bring about the breathalyzer testing, to bring about the banning of handheld cell phones. Not one of them has said anything about it. It’s as though they don’t feel it. I’m really upset about it,” she said.

“Legislations need to be put in place. They are not doing anything or saying anything and this is wrong and lives are being lost on our roads. It’s time for them to act. How many lives do they want to see lost? They’re sending them a message and they aren’t taking heed. And I’m really upset about it. Right now nothing is being done. And the sooner we get the legislations that we want in place the better it will be for us. But for right now it seems as though they don’t care. And that is from either side . . . . It seem as though our leaders don’t care about our lives.”

The BRSA head added that the insurance companies also had a role to play in reducing the number of fatalities by offering advanced training programmes on how to prevent collisions and insisting that any driver who has been involved in an accident must undergo further training.   

At the same time, Roland-Bowen again pleaded with drivers and pedestrians to be cautious on the roads.

“I want to urge drivers and pedestrians to be vigilant and stop trusting people with your lives. Trust no one on our roads. We have pedestrians trusting drivers. Don’t allow bus drivers or any person to call you across. Your life is something precious and don’t trust it with no one. We don’t know the state and condition drivers are in. Some are driving distracted, people driving under the influence of alcohol and some driving tired. So we can’t trust them. As pedestrians, don’t trust them. Life is precious and we are losing it too fast,” she stressed.

19 Responses to ‘Upset’ advocate wants immediate action to end road fatalities

  1. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall February 25, 2017 at 4:48 am

    As an accident victim myself the penalty for bad drivers need to send a serious message. Yesterday I saw a lady driving and texting at around 7am and the traffic heavy. The Insurance gives victims help to give compensation , especially one particular Insurance that the Lawyers frighten for .

    Reply
  2. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall February 25, 2017 at 4:49 am

    Hell

    Reply
  3. Suzette Clarke
    Suzette Clarke February 25, 2017 at 5:31 am

    Must we blame the government for every single thing that is not right in Barbados? You cannot legislate responsible behaviour and that is what is needed . All road users need to exercise more care and attention.

    Reply
    • Patrina Drakes
      Patrina Drakes February 25, 2017 at 8:02 am

      People it break laws every day that why there are courts ,lawyers and judges. Even if legislation pass tommorow there will still people who break it.

      Reply
  4. Alex Alleyne February 25, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Will Breathalyzer testing work on “weed or coke” ?, not all drivers drink rum and big mouth drinks. Speed and the poor quality of imported vehicles coupled with super bad road-ways are some of the problems.
    “Fast food got everyone in a hurry”.

    Reply
  5. Patrina Drakes
    Patrina Drakes February 25, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Everyone’s in a hurry speeding or checking insta, FB, Twitter or whatsapp and not paying full attention to the roads. Some women driving and doing make up. Even transport board drivers on their phone and driving. Don’t drink and drive some still do. Don’t text and drive and almost all do.

    Reply
  6. Haskell Murray February 25, 2017 at 9:58 am

    In Barbados we tend to blame the government for every thing that happens in this society. The government cannot legislate responsible behaviour and that is what is needed . All road users need to exercise more care and attention. Sharmane before you accuse the government on not doing anything to solve the problem, first you should state what the specific problem(s) is or are.Getting your face and name in the news is not good enough.

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  7. Fred February 25, 2017 at 10:16 am

    We have lots of road traffic laws now that you rarely see the police enforcing and that’s not because they aren’t doing their jobs but they have limited numbers and inadequate resources / funding to police the roads properly. So what is the point in adding more laws that won’t be enforced? We should first discuss how we plan to effectively enforce the laws we have before adding more.

    Reply
  8. Zeus February 25, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Barbados had nine roads deaths for all of last year …we now have more in the first two months ….same laws same police same government ……what has changed other than the year …..sounds harsh but I can only call it FATE

    Reply
  9. Carson C Cadogan February 25, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    “….. immediate action to end road fatalities”

    Sharmane as heart breaking as it is, for as long as they are motor vehicles they will be road fatalities. We will have some years where the number of road fatalities are few and they are other years when road fatalities will be many. It is the nature of the beast.

    Sharmane from the time you were born up to yesterday, which year of your life never had a single road fatality?

    I am older than you, and there has never been such a year.

    Reply
  10. orlando February 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    ill say barbados has the reputation as being the most laidback country in the world . not a care . and the problem starts there.the world is changing everyday. barbados is standing still.Suzette you are wrong . put the laws in place first then work on enforcing them.start with the police . i must say worst police in the world im sure.the worst quote they have is YOU AWRIGHT I HAVE TO LIVE IN THIS COMMUNITY.policing is not a job its a responsibility to the country that you swore to protect and defend,seatbelt law is in place and not a man wears them. did you see the busdrivers putting them across their fat bellies and just leaving there.and with some police on board.

    Reply
  11. orlando February 25, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    i went to meet my friend just when he was getting off work at a certain police port in speightown LOL. and the seargent called and say dont leave yet i running late but i got something to drink . Thats the man thats protecting our shores.just saying you gotta start somewhere.

    Reply
  12. Curious February 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    The whole Barbadian driving culture has changed.

    Simple courtesies like acknowledging by wave, thanks or a toot when someone is allowed to exit a side road or to turn across waiting traffic onto a side road has become a thing of the past.
    Everyone has become selfish.

    Added to that, they are showing more and more impatience by being reckless.

    Reply
  13. jrsmith February 25, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    This statement is made by lots of people continuously, its happening all around the world , so its alright to happen in barbados….that is the bajan attitude.. Lots of people dont like stop and search, (but lets call it in barbados spot checks.).

    Adding to barbados policing this would be a fantastic help.. the police would pick up ..
    False number plates….
    Un road worthy vehicles..
    Uninsured vehicles ..
    Unqualified drivers..
    Drivers under the influence of drugs/ alcohol…
    Stolen vehicles ….
    Stolen property…
    Cocaine/ ganja ..
    Convicts on the run.
    Guns and other weapons…..
    Catching people using they mobiles while driving……
    We cannot blame no other people than our politicians, they dont care what happens in Barbados, so long they people are protected… because everything they do is in the interests of some and nothing is done for the interest of the people………….

    Reply
  14. allison archer February 25, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    these murders has nothing at all to do with the law or government, it is the person behind the wheel

    basic home training has not been enforced neither taught in these adults as children and this is the reward we receive= careless, unthinking , selfish individuals

    man refuse to be responsible / held accountable for their actions having no integrity of heart so there always must be a scapegoat

    God says train up a child in the way it should go and when it is old it shall not depart from it, what you sow that shall you reap

    Reply
  15. Hal Austin February 25, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    The road safety association should sponsor some advanced driving courses.
    Good driving is not rocket science: if you are driving within the speed limit and the unexpected happens, thinking time and braking distance equals stopping. And braking distance depends on speed, weather, condition of the tyres, brakes and the general roadworthiness of the vehicle, whether or not the driver is exhausted, under the influence of drink or drugs or any other distractions, such as texting or making calls.
    Police in unmarked cars will easily catch a few offenders. We see them everyday when we are driving.
    Those found guilty of reckless driving should have their licenses suspended and be forced to re-take the test before being allowed to drive again.
    Reckless driving is a menace. We must also look at the number of cars on the roads. One car per household will increase road safety.

    Reply
  16. orlando February 25, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    +allison archer you got it all wrong.it has all to do with the government and the laws of the land. put the laws inplace first . the make sure the police carry out those laws .they took an oath. i know barbados is small and just about every knows somebody upstairs. but they swore to protect so then protect or go cut canes.gall hill atleast 5 police live there. crabhill the same . silver hill the same . just about every hill the same and still all this nonsense going on . somebody please stand upand put up ya hand .

    Reply
  17. Active Reader In USA February 26, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    The People in Barbados are self-fish, their have become to Americanize, and also the Government also needs to change the speed limits in certain areas and on highways. The Barbados police force needs to implement more police patrols to enforce tickets on speeders that are driving over the speed limits.

    Reply
  18. Active Reader In USA February 26, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    A small reduction in speed can make a difference between life and death for pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles passengers/drivers.

    Reply

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