Minister: Road safety must improve
‘One fatality too many’
Road safety in Trinidad and Tobago needs to improve because even one road fatality is too many, Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said yesterday.
Ramnarine delivered the feature address at the American Chamber of Commerce’s 17th Annual Health Safety Security and Environment (HSSE) Conference at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Port of Spain, saying that he was in discussions with the ministries of Works and Transport about how to accommodate the increase in traffic on the nation’s roads, especially from road tank wagons transporting fuel, and for a national evacuation plan.
He said policy guidelines were being developed by the ministry to improve safety for road transportation of fuel in these tankers.
He noted the recent death of a man whose car had collided with a road tank wagon last Monday, saying that even though there had been some year-on-year improvement in road fatality statistics, the country should be aiming for zero.
He called on companies to use their corporate social responsibility initiative to educate the public more on safe driving practices.
He also highlighted the theme of the conference, “HSSE Excellence-Economic Success through Innovative Integrated HSSE strategies”, saying the businesses that adopt sound HSSE strategies are more likely to remain sustainable in the future, because safety positively impacts the bottom line.
AmCham president Hugh Howard shared similar sentiments.
“The country must remain fully aligned with all the pillars of sustainable development to ensure continued economic growth in harmony with the natural environment, the workforce and society in general... Once we collectively embrace HSSE best practices as a way of life the challenges will be effectively surmounted,” Howard said.
He said critical to ensuring national ownership were automatic compliance with relevant legislation; avoidance of controllable costs and business interruptions; efficient use of resources; increased employee morale and productivity; and improved reputation and the potential to attract new business.