Revised Road Traffic Act due after budget

The long promised changes to the Barbados Road Traffic Act will go before Parliament soon after the 2017-2018 Budgetary Proposals slated for May 30, says Minister of Transport and Works (MTW) Michael Lashley.

Lashley today said there was an urgent need to implement the proposed changes in order to curb the spate of accidents and road fatalities.

It was in March that the minister said during debate on the 2017/2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure that the legislative changes, which affect both the Transport Authority Act and the Road Traffic Act, would be introduced next month.

However, he was more circumspect today, preferring not to announce a date by which the proposals would reach the Lower House.

“I know that this is becoming a record so when I mention the Road Traffic Act people say, ‘he and that again’; but certainly it is a work in progress, and a key piece of legislation takes time,” Lashley told the launch of the MTW’s public awareness campaign on road safety at the ministry’s headquarter at The Pine, St Michael.

Four years earlier, in May 2013, the minister had told the Second International Road Federation Caribbean Regional Congress here that his ministry was in the process of amending the Road Traffic Act to include the wearing of helmets by cyclists, semi-annual inspection of public service vehicles, annual inspection of private motor vehicles over a certain age, speeding, and the use of communication devices while driving.

There have been no visible signs of progress since, and Lashley today explained that the amended measure was not the only piece of legislation that Government had to consider.

“There are a number of legislations on the Government’s platform and the Road Traffic Act falls within that timetable, and of course we have to engage stakeholders and we have to engage lawyers and we to ensure that it is fit to be debated in Parliament
. . . . We have actually distilled them to ensure that they fit within the four corners of the law and we will be ready right after the budget,” Lashley said.

The delayed amendments, which will also make provision for breathalyzer testing, have been a source of frustration for President of the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) Sharmane Roland-Bowen, who had dismissed Lashley’s assurances in March as “false promises”.

With 17 road fatalities already this year, Roland-Bowen, who was present at this morning’s launch, warned that another day’s delay could mean the loss of another life.

“With this legislation that is about to come on stream, the minister said earlier that it should be later this year, but I would hate to see it go over into next year because we can never tell what is going to happen in this country, and I won’t like to have a restart where things go to the bottom. This is the closest that we have been to getting these legislations into fruition and for it to go over you can never tell what is going happen next year after February or March,” Roland-Bowen said in an apparent reference to general elections due next year.

6 Responses to Revised Road Traffic Act due after budget

  1. jrsmith May 25, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Thats all our crooked corrupt politicians do, promise this, promise that and wait and see , their are so evil treating black bajans as fools promising everything because of a pending election and bajans fall for that , the only thing on offer is more taxes they cant do any better than that…………………………………

    • jennifer May 25, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Jrsmith – well said – that Is how they manage things at home.

  2. Michael Berry May 25, 2017 at 8:20 am

    The amendments need to include clear rules for 4 lane highways requiring drivers to stay in the left lane unless overtaking. Secondly, rules relating to lane discipline need enhancing. This is a huge problem at the Darcy Scott roundabout where it exits to 2A. Those in the right lane drift across and cut off traffic exiting from the left (centre) lane. This results from the notion that anyone on your right can just cut across you and you must yield. The rule should be that if you are changing lane you are responsible for ensuring you can do so without interfering with traffic in the lane you are proposing to enter. If you are legally in your lane there should be no reason you need to give way to someone who is changing lane.Third, where two lanes merge into one, drivers should take turns. it makes things much simpler.

  3. Sunshine Sunny Shine May 25, 2017 at 10:35 am

    How long does a key piece of legislation takes?

    a) 1 year
    b) 10 years
    c) 20 years

    If anything that a politician says is to be believe, it would good to know why certain legislation takes time and others are done in a jiffy.

  4. Jea Alleyne May 25, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Does that come with fixing the potholes and poor conditions of the roads, couldnt the bad conditions contribute to some of the accidents ?

  5. jrsmith May 25, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    @, Jennifer, hail, hail , how are you doing ,hope you are good, good back up , I always say if a man takes interested in running his own home there is always a chance he will do well for others.
    What I use to do when i need a job done pronto , pronto and interviewing contractors … I would ask the question , how many eggs do think you have in your refrigerator at home……seeing the reaction on people faces…
    Funny the medical establishment , i worked with tried the same on they staff…………. Try that on our politicians they might jump out the window……….Anyone try that at an interview and see the reaction………………………………


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