THE traffic department of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force, through the issuance of traffic tickets, swelled the coffers of the government by close to half a million dollars in 2015.
The revelation was made at last Friday’s police press conference at Chesterfield.
As many as 9,256 tickets were issued by the department, out of which 3735 registered convictions. However only 1827 of those tickes were paid resulting in $494,150.00 being collected on behalf of the government.
The most common offences resulting in the issuance of traffic tickets were non- compliance (2495) followed by failure to wear a seatbelt (2023), improper parking (935) and drawing alongside and parking on foot path (546).
This was one of several startling disclosures made by police at the press conference in respect of the traffic situation on the island.
With Saint Lucia recording 1599 vehicular collisions for the past year, 635 recorded in Castries alone, the need for motorists to reduce on their speeding is now a major refrain of the traffic department.
“Speed is a major factor where vehicular collisions are concerned in the country,” Inspector Dexter Felix said.
But how does the department determine speed as a cause of some of the collisions bearing in mind that it does not have the required tools to measure a moving vehicle for speed?
Felix notes that this will soon be rectified and that the needed instrument will be available for the department’s use.
But speed aside what else could have been the cause of some of those collisions? Could alcohol be considered a factor?
Felix admits he could not say how much alcohol contributed to the 1599 vehicle collisions for the past year since breath analyzers are not part of his department’s arsenal at this time. However he gave the assurance that breath analyzers will be part of his team’s weaponry in the near future.
Of the vehicular collisions for the past year, 353 were serious and 1235 were minor. Eleven of those crashes were fatal resulting in the deaths of 14 individuals, 12 of whom were males and two females.
The type of vehicles involved in the fatal crashes were about even with motor cycles edging out the others by being involved in four of those fatal crashes.
Motor omnibuses were involved in two fatal crashes, bicycles in two, trucks in two and a pick-up in one. However, motor cars were involved in more collisions than other types of vehicles (520) followed by bicycles (192) and SUV’s (191).