Port of Spain
Speeding is for the race track, not the roads.
This is the message professional racer and Regional Rally champion John Powell is sending to motorists as he teams up with the local road safety organisation “Arrive Alive”.
Powell and his eight-year-old son Alex, who is a regional go-cart champion, have joined Arrive Alive as road safety advocates to promote a culture of safe driving throughout T&T.
At a news conference held yesterday at Trotters restaurant, Maraval Road, Port of Spain, Arrive Alive president Sharon Inglefield said there was a need for drivers to be more educated on the dangers of speeding as speeding accounts for 55 per cent of road fatalities in this country.
She said Powell and his son have been trained to race in a safe environment and have a reputation for skilful driving.
Powell said he decided to get involved because he found it “very pitiful” to see how many young people die on the roads.
He said aggravated motorists who drive dangerously were a major problem as they have “zero respect” for the road, fellow drivers and pedestrians.
He added that he was shocked to learn that arrestable and ticketed offences accounted for some $62 million in 2015 alone.
He said the Government could easily earn revenue by clamping down on reckless driving and implementing the law when it comes to speeding, drinking and driving, failure to use a seat belt, texting and cellular use while driving etc.
Bring speed guns
Inglefield yesterday also renewed her call for the implementation of speed guns, saying this would greatly reduce the number of road fatalities and traffic accidents.
“These are vital to combating those who disregard our laws and speed on our nation’s roads,” she said.
Police traffic co-ordinator Brent Batson said the police already had six of these devices which they are currently training officers to use. However, he said they could not be implemented without ministerial approval.
Powell also voiced his support for implementation of speed guns, asking how many more people had to die before this is done.
Statistics provided by Arrive Alive indicate that persons between the ages of 25 and 34 are mostly affected by road accidents.
In 2015, there were 127 fatal road accidents in which 146 persons lost their lives. Thirty two per cent of these belonged to the 24-35 age group; 88 per cent were males while 12 per cent were female.
Speeding was the reason behind 55 per cent of all fatal accidents, while alcohol was responsible for 30 per cent of fatal accidents.