Hinkson says new Road Traffic Bill amounts to a disabled ‘travesty’

Member of Parliament for St James North Edmund Hinkson today criticized the Road Traffic Act (Amendment) Bill 2017, saying it was especially flawed in its provisions for the disabled.

Speaking in the House of Assembly during the second week of debate on the bill which was tabled by Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley, the Opposition parliamentarian zeroed in on the proposed fine of $500 for persons who wrongfully park in parking spots reserved for people with disabilities.

Calling it “a joke”, Hinkson suggested that the fine should be “at least $1,000”, while stressing that “this bill has tremendous flaws in it”, while making it clear that the Opposition Barbados Labour Party did not accept “the concept that an amended Road Traffic Bill is better than no Road Traffic Bill at all”.

Hinkson, a director of the Barbados Council for the Disabled, further argued that even though provision had been made for a fine for those caught parking in spaces reserved for the disabled, no mention was made in the Bill of how evidence of violations would be obtained with a view to ensuring that it could be admissible in court.

“If, for example, someone takes a picture with their cell phone of an able-bodied person coming out of a vehicle which is parked in a parking spot reserved for a person with disabilities, is that going to be accepted in court? Are we going to give concessions for private organisations to employ security guards as is done in more developed countries to process and investigate this, and to be able to charge such persons who offend such a piece of legislation?”

He suggested that in addition to fines, offenders should be slapped with “mandatory sensitization sessions, or made to serve some cause for persons with disabilities”.

“Why haven’t we looked at these kinds of issues which consultation with an Opposition party could easily have brought?”

Noting that Barbados signed the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities in June 2007, and ratified it in 2013, Hinkson complained that five years have passed and this island was yet to pass the required laws.

“Ratification mandates a country to pass into its internal law, in this case within two years . . . an Act for advancing the rights of persons with disabilities and enshrining the convention into the laws of Barbados,” he said.

He bemoaned the absence of special road signage for the disabled, as well as disability friendly pavements, adding that it was a “travesty” that only one bus owned by the Transport Board is used for persons with disabilities.

6 Responses to Hinkson says new Road Traffic Bill amounts to a disabled ‘travesty’

  1. archy perch November 22, 2017 at 4:31 am

    Edmund Hinkson; Ronald Toppin; Wilfred Abrahams; Shirley symmonds ; Duguid with the torn under Weir, are all peas in a pod.Thy have NEVER praised the government for anything. And they always seen to be soooooo angry.Ease up guys, you’ll get your turn the next ten years I hope. We need a steady Barbados ship right now as the economy keeps growing. Steady as she grows for all the pessimists.

  2. Greengiant November 22, 2017 at 6:44 am

    @archy Perch; While reading I was saying to myself, “this man criticises everything the government does or proposes”, not knowing that you would have noticed the similarity.

    The members of parliament who benefit from swings, and those who otherwise contribute nothing are just critics. The B L P accuses the government of rushing legislation through parliament, but throughout the commonwealth this happens. Whenever a government has a majority, approaching the end of a term in office they push critical legislation through, and have it passed as law. The last B L P administration was no different.

  3. Patrick November 22, 2017 at 11:37 am

    I don’t understand a word when Hinkson speaks, leave him to Payne.

  4. Mark Gill
    Mark Gill November 22, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Bro used common sense not politics. This is about people lives if a man don’t use drugs or alcohol it should not be a problem if he is randomly tested however how many more must die or get injured because of drugs or drinking . prevention is much better.

  5. Ron Shepherd November 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Hinksey is making valid points. If the bill has weakness they have to be exposed. The Opposition can’t agree to something worth opposing. He is using the political platform to say what flaws exist in the revamped Bill. The question one may wish to ask is whether his party would have done better. No one knows for sure.

  6. Tony Waterman November 27, 2017 at 4:14 am

    This is what happens when you persist with a System that was designes solely to subjugate you and not to lift you up, this Party System does NOT suit any Country like Barbados, we NEED to BAN Political Parties, and Start Electing People to Run the Country.

    Since Hinckson was Elected, i have NOT heard him say that anyone has done anything right, how can that be ????


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