Insurance sector worried about number of road fatalities

Insurance companies here are expressing concern over the increasing number of road fatalities, which they blame on “lawlessness”, “indiscipline” and intoxication.

Barbados has recorded 24 road deaths so far this year, more than double the ten recorded for all of last year.

The most recent fatality occurred on Saturday, November 4, when 78-year-old Bentley Belgrave, a Barbadian who lived in the United States, but was here on holiday, died in a two-vehicle accident at the junction of Pleasant Hall and the Charles Duncan O’Neal Highway in St Peter.

General Manager of Co-operators General Insurance Limited Anton Lovell told Barbados TODAY that his agency had witnessed a 15 per cent spike in the number of major and minor vehicular accidents claims this year when compared to the same period last year.   

“We’re very concerned about the number of road deaths. We are doing everything possible within the industry, with the police and the road safety association to try and curb the lawlessness on the road,” Lovell said.

Similar concerns were raised by Claims Manager at Consumers’ Guarantee Insurance (CGI) Paul Reid, who stressed that the company was really worried about the level of recklessness on the island’s roads.

Reid said CGI had its “fair share of road fatalities, and our clients being involved in those fatalities for the year”, adding that the number claims for road deaths had been steadily increasing each year.

In response the company has been urging motorists to be careful on highways, Reid explained.

“We try to put in the forefront of people’s minds that ‘this could be you, this could be your family’. We try our part to make people understand that a vehicle could be a weapon; put it in the wrong hands it can easily injure somebody or take someone’s life,” he said.

While not making reference to any particular accident or pointing fingers at anyone in particular, President of the General Insurance Association of Barbados (GIAB) Michael Holder was not shy to suggest that alcohol and drugs played a major part in the increasing number of fatal accidents.

Holder told Barbados TODAY he was fully behind plans announced by Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley to include breathalyzer testing in the revised Barbados Road Traffic Act, which the minister promised would go before Parliament later this month.

“The amount of road accidents that we are having is a concern because it speaks to a level of indiscipline and inattentiveness on the road.

“We strongly believe that breathalyzer testing would go a long way to making persons responsible on the road and ultimately we would have less drivers on the road who are intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” the GAIB boss said.

9 Responses to Insurance sector worried about number of road fatalities

  1. hcalndre November 9, 2017 at 4:23 am

    Ask the politicians their reason why it took so long to get serious about the breathalyzer testing. I heard that it would slow the sales of alcoholic beverages down, but it raised the vehicular death rate, Oh Barbados.

    Reply
  2. Johnathan November 9, 2017 at 7:33 am

    It is not as much about alcohol as it is about wunnah espesially young idiots speeding a nd always on a cell phone. The insurance companies need to treat clients with more honesty and decency. Espesially these Trinidadian run companies that hate to pay claims and only want million dollars bonuses at thhe end of the year off the clients backs. Then all is repatriated to Trinidad. This is even so in the banks. They need to spend money on road safety campaigns but I just told you why they wont….

    Reply
  3. Alex Alleyne November 9, 2017 at 8:20 am

    More youngsters “Smoking weed and Snorting Coke” along with the adults chucking down the “big-mout” drinks. They all have an image to protect.
    A guy got killed in waterfords Bottom in a car wreck that was not caused by him and the killer walked FREE.

    Reply
  4. Timothy Walker November 9, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Sir,
    Sir,
    Sir.

    Sir,
    sir, I wrote this awhile back Now this applies to the Insurance providers and Police.

    Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA)
    You should be shaming yourself
    Let me tell you what causes accidents
    Drivers coming out of side streets
    bulling other drivers and blocking
    on coming traffic.
    You have not said a dam word.

    Vehicles with defect lights front and back
    Transport Board buses, Yellow Buses.
    ZR Vans and about and about 3 in every
    7 other vehicles have defective lights.
    You have not said a dam word.

    Drivers Am and PM refusing to turn on
    their lights.
    Drivers refusing to indicate that they are
    turning and all others must become mind readers.
    Drivers refusing to dim their lights.
    You have not said a dam word.

    I have figured that BRSA is just a bunch of
    talking heads, sitting on their hand.
    Looking for an opportunity to be noticed.

    NOW! Be careful with your glass windows
    if you are throwing stones.

    Reply
  5. Helicopter(8P) November 9, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Two applications of directives by the Minister of Transport and executed by the Royal Barbados Police Force would quell this unlawfulness on public streets ! Breath analyzers thorough vehicle inspection at inspection stations and on the spot vehicle function tests. Point blank that’s it! What more can the public at large ask for ? As for the drunkenness Constables and NCO’s need to get their annual point going on that one, so the superintendents can pass on a word for their ranking promotions plus make the place a much safer one for friends family visitor and tourist!

    Reply
  6. Alan Winter November 9, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Not to forget the MASSIVE POTHOLES in Bim….. You have to swerve, position car over the middle of potholes, avoid oncoming traffic and be EXTRA VIGILANT driving on the roads with people’s BRIGHT LIGHTs and CRATERS in the Road. I can ONLY expect accidents. I have driven night and day on roads in Europe, however poor lighting, BRIGHT HEAD LIGHTS and POTHOLES on most roads….Ive given up night driving and rarely drive during the day…. The risks are far too high in Bim. Breath analyzers have been talked about for too many years, they should be here but like most laws are absent.

    Reply
  7. Belfast November 9, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    A few days ago. a driver went to the Nation’s office and reported damage to her expensive car rims caused by a pothole.
    In that newspaper’s report, the driver said that she did not see the pothole as there was no warning flag placed there, but she had passed one down that same road.
    Apparently, drivers are now expecting every single pothole to be flagged. Now we begin to see, what happens when we take away the responsibility of a driver s to assess and negotiate the highways, for themselves, using their powers of Concentration, Observation and Forethought and a little common sense thrown in.
    We are always looking for ways to spoon feed individuals.

    Reply
  8. Belfast November 9, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    When a driver is involved in too many accidents or other traffic violations, the Insurance Companies should withhold issuing coverage to that individual until he/she has successfully completed a Defensive Driving Course. Furthermore, the Insurance Companies should be offering some incentive to all other drivers who have successfully completed a Defensive Driving Course.
    Speaking from experience, such drivers hardly ever become involved in accidents, where they are at fault.

    Reply
  9. archy perch November 9, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    There are some jerks behind steering wheels, whose brains are as empty as the open spaces within the circle of their grasp.
    Here I am the other day trying to avoid a pothole, and somebody’s jackass got untethered and behind a steering wheel of a SUV, blowing trying to pass.
    My first thought was the base ball bat.
    My second thought was , what I would do to that sucker if he hit my car.
    That was the scary part.

    Reply

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