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Permanent Secretary Tells Motorists: “USE ROADS WISELY” 🚕🚙🚲

In Observance of Road Safety Awareness Month

Permanent Secretary in the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Transport, Lenita Joseph
Permanent Secretary in the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Transport, Lenita Joseph

PERMANENT Secretary in the Department of Infrastructure, Ports and Transport, Lenita Joseph delivered a public statement in observance of Road Safety Awareness Month – which is observed globally in November.

The government official notes that “despite the many interventions undertaken world-wide, the safe use of our roads remains a very serious public health concern.”

She continued, “As a small island still-developing state, Saint Lucia continues to grapple with the effects and impacts of road collision, crashes and very regrettably, fatalities.

“The increase in the number of motor-vehicles on our roads also increases the level of exposure to collisions, frustration with traffic congestion and road rage.”

Added Joseph: “Road traffic deaths and injuries have become very high prices to pay for mobility. Managing driver behaviour and taking personal responsibility therefore remains the primary tool for reducing collisions and fatalities.

“Operating the vehicle with caution, wearing your seat belt, not being distracted by mobile phones, being attentive to road signs, not driving while intoxicated from drugs or alcohol, using child restraints and motor-cycle helmets, and the proper application of driving codes and principles are all …safe-measures that when consistently applied by all road users, especially drivers can prove effective.”

She cautioned, “Pedestrians and cyclists are also required to exercise their share of responsibility in using the roads. Wearing reflective clothing can increase visibility when walking or cycling.

“Preventative vehicle maintenance, especially on braking systems, tyre wear and other potential mechanical failures are just as important when venturing out into the road network. Functional wiper blades, appropriate head lamps and even horns should not be discounted when operating a motor vehicle.

Joseph asserted: “Ensure that your vehicle is serviced as prescribed by the manufacturer at an approved garage.

“For our part, the Department of Infrastructure has the mandate to provide safe, resilient road infrastructure. This includes, motorable road surfaces, road furnisher – such as crash barriers, adequate street lighting and road signs.

“Section 74 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act makes it an offense for a person to drive a motor vehicle on a road without due care and attention, or without consideration for other road users.”

The permanent secretary explained, “This offence carries a fine on summary conviction not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months to both.

Section 73 of the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act commits a person who causes a death of a person by another person by dangerous driving, or drive dangerously in any road on summary conviction, on indictment to imprisonment for term of not less than five years and not exceeding 15 years.

Joseph noted: “These penalties in no way provides compensation for the loss of life or limb, or the trauma and socio-economic hardships endured by the victims of road traffic incidents.

“The power to save a life, especially your own, is in your hands- Use the Roads Wisely.”

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