Cell phone ban coming

Govt looking to outlaw use of mobile devices by drivers

Sweeping new regulations are coming that will outlaw the use of cell phones while driving, ban stunts on the roads and those who organize such activities, make it illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and introduce breathalyzer testing for drivers.

Moreover, Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley told the House of Assembly today that Government was also raising the minimum age for holding a licence to drive heavy duty vehicles or public service vehicles from 18 to 25-year-old.

Those were among the major changes outlined by the St Philip North MP in the House of Assembly as he led debate on the Road Traffic Amendment Bill 2017.

Lashley told the House that there was a serious lack of data on drunk driving in Barbados even though it was known to play a role in many vehicular accidents.

“We can’t wait until it gets out of hand; we can’t wait until it climbs, we need to have the breathalyzer to act as a deterrent and to save lives,” the minister said.

According to Lashley, the amended Road Traffic Act will address the problem of distracted drivers, particularly those using cellular phones.

He said the new traffic laws would also prevent persons teaching would-be drivers from also using cell phones while they were instructing.

In his presentation, the Minister told the Lower House said it was necessary to increase the age of persons allowed to drive public service vehicles because of the level of responsibility that came with such as a job, and the need for drivers to display a level of maturity.

Lashley told the House that having consulted with several related entities such as insurance companies and road safety groups, it was accepted that drivers in the younger age group tended to be involved in a significant number of road accidents.

He noted that in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, the road traffic laws were changed to increase the age for hiring a car from age 18 to 21.

Lashley also raised concerns about the about the illegal practice of changing engine numbers on vehicles that had been stolen, noting that MTW was seeking to address the issue through the inspection process for vehicles by that department.

At the same time, Lashley admitted that the Ministry of Transport and Works was under tremendous pressure dealing with the more than 130, 000 vehicles on the country’s roads,

In this connection, he explained there were only five traffic inspectors who worked from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and after those hours, it was up the Royal Barbados Police Force to ensure compliance with the island’s road traffic laws.

Lamenting the number of road deaths and serious accidents, the St Philip North MP said it was the aim of MTW to ensure safety on the roads and on public transport.

As a result, he said the ministry aimed to reduce by 50 per cent the number of road accidents with injuries by the year 2020.

He also revealed that a major public sensitization programme was coming to make Barbadians aware of the news regulations.

Source: (IMC)

21 Responses to Cell phone ban coming

  1. Lauriston Applewhaite
    Lauriston Applewhaite November 14, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Michael Lashley. You run out of things to do.You talking about raising age limit for heavy duty vehicles to twenty-five years.

    • andy g November 15, 2017 at 7:28 am

      why not compliment?what is there to criticize. this is a positive thing. should have done fifteen years ago

    • The Gatekeeper November 15, 2017 at 10:17 am

      I agree with raising the age from 18, but 25 is too high. Driving heavy duty vehicles might be the only job some young men are qualified to do to make a living, I would have put it at 22.

  2. Carl Hunte
    Carl Hunte November 14, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Showing good intent. Long overdue. On a recent visit to Barbados, I witnessed some scary stunt riding taking place on the highway during rush hours. The other highway users were totally intimidated by some motorbike riders performing a variety of stunts amongst the traffic.

    • The Gatekeeper November 15, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Making it law is one thing, but will they be able to catch the stunt men? Their bikes are faster than cars and can go places that police cars cannot go to evade capture. You can’t ID their faces when they are wearing helmets, and their bikes carry fake plate numbers if any at all. Police force need a helicopter or two to help fight crime.

      • Bajanspur November 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm

        That is where they need to start by stop every willy nilly person making license plates this is where it starts. Documents of ownership of vehicles need to be held in one database and as they change owners the document is passed on and the name changed. It is light years away from Barbados system and if they want to address the problem they have to attack the root of the issue

  3. Cherylann Bourne-Hayes
    Cherylann Bourne-Hayes November 14, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Half of this crap should have been illegal a long time. You mean to tell me that driving drunk and removing the number form a stole vehicle were not illegal. You have to kidding me

    • andy g November 15, 2017 at 7:34 am

      who said it was legal. pls read the statement again.

      • andy g November 15, 2017 at 7:51 am

        my apologies. yes first paragraph said it.

  4. Sean Chandler
    Sean Chandler November 14, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    banning stunts is all well and good. But where’s the enforcement. Remember ZR uniforms, no music on PSVs, no stopping anywhere other than a bus stop, jambusting. You can ban the birds from flying, but who is going to stop them?

    • Rishona Graham
      Rishona Graham November 14, 2017 at 10:44 pm

      The PSV drivers have employees why can’t they address them also ?

  5. Carol Grant Cumberbatch
    Carol Grant Cumberbatch November 14, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    The best thing for you to do right now..is to fix the damm wells in the road..That should be your #1..priority.. Regardless of how high you carry the age limit.some people still going to do nonsense…

    • andy g November 15, 2017 at 7:43 am

      Carol are you for reaj? are you suggesting that fixing a pot hole is more important than trying to save lives.since bajans love doing everything America, I would advise him to raise the bar to CDL lincense for psv drivers

  6. Carie Apple
    Carie Apple November 14, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Bare drunk driving go on in Bim. Fix that first then the potholes and everything else after…..in that order.

  7. Ric November 15, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Ms Cherylann Bourne-Hayes do you really believe that in 2017 driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs was not an offence and against the law in Barbados? Your question should really be about the level of journalism and editing in the story. It’s ridiculous that the reporter could not even report correctly and gave this erroneous impression to you and others and it’s also about an editor who obviously do not understand his or her job. But sad to say, this is the norm. This paper is known for reproducing old news items weeks after they appeared in other publications and even for getting the names of local politicians wrong with no corrections following. My sister, who once worked at a media house, told me that Barbados have no investigative journalists, only reporters who don’t even do a thorough job at reporting. Now I understand clearly what she meant. I miss Ms. Jeanette Layne-Clarke as I’m almost certain she would’ve called out BT on this. Maybe the venerable Carl Moore, who’s a champion for the cause of less noise can also advocate for better reporting.

  8. Richard Johnston November 15, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Also make drivers of 2-wheel vehicles obey the same rules as for 4-wheel vehicles, so bikers don’t weave in and out of traffic, endangering themselves and others.

  9. DE November 15, 2017 at 8:54 am

    What is being done is not a bad thing, but I have some concerns. All of these legislation was called for over nine years ago and now just within a few months from election you are having more legislation going before the house of parliament than you have days in a year. They are looking to band the use of cell phone while driving, but they are shying away from the other attachments that goes with the traffic act. If you are going to band cell phones one of the first thing the should look at is those car with windows like a power outage. The minister is guilty of such. I saw him using his cell phone while driving, glass tint dark and he hiding behind the tint glass.
    This country does a lot of copying and they only copy the answers. They do not ever seek to copy the method that give the answer and that is why our legislation is always being terrorized with loop hole. I am hoping that the minister in his submission is say that you cannot use you cell phone not even on hands free because that would take me back to the statement above about copying.

  10. roger headley November 15, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Can have sex legally, can vote legally but can’t drive a heavy-duty vehicle? Hmmm, let me think on these things.

  11. DE November 15, 2017 at 9:08 am

    @andy g, the pot holes have not cause any live yet but they are causing a lot of accidents. You sound like one of those person who encourages counties to model America without realizing the damage that we do to ourselves. We do not have the gut to arrest or imprison certain class of people when caught breaking the law.

  12. Sheron Inniss November 15, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I was waiting since August since this was the time I remember hearing these laws were to come into effect. I agree with all.

    Nonetheless, the DLP is out of the place come election time.

    Up the thing Grenville.

  13. hcalndre November 16, 2017 at 3:13 am

    When certain people raised issues in Barbados, it has a way of spreading like an epidemic and I`m speaking of this age thing. The minister all of a sudden decides to bring all these issues to the table that could have been gradually done in the past 9 years and I what amazes me about Barbados is that they hear about things done in big countries, try to copy but don`t know why nor how. Its like cooking a turkey, putting it on the table and not having the things to serve with it when asked. This age thing came up about what age a person should be allowed to join a political party, now they want to carry the age of a person driving a heavy duty vehicle from 18 to 25 and then they will say women will have to be 30 years to get a heavy duty license, that`s why in previous comments I made that bajans are still amateurs and rookies at 30 years old.


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