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Arrive Alive urges drivers to be more responsible

By Renuka Singh

Road safety awareness lobby group Arrive Alive president Sharon Inglefield yesterday expressed the group's "disappointment" over the number of road accidents over the past few days.

In one smash-up in Tobago, five persons were reportedly killed while in Trinidad a six-month-old baby was among the fatalities in as many as four accidents.

"We look at the figures all the time and we are very disappointed by those drivers that are not displaying any responsibility on the road," Inglefield said in a telephone interview yesterday.

In the build-up to the Carnival season, the lobby group set up displays of cars mangled in accidents hoping to dissuade careless and reckless driving during the height of the feteing season. While Inglefield felt those displays curbed the number of accidents that could have happened, she is calling on more stringent policing to help enforce better road behaviour.

"Without consistent enforcement, persons tend to push boundaries. In other first world countries there tends to be a zero tolerance enforcement and that needs to be displayed here," she said.

Though police officers have been mandated to affect that zero tolerance attitude on driving offences, Inglefield feels it has not yet been implemented.

"We need to have a huge police presence and enforcement of traffic management on occasions like Carnival and after fetes. The Breathalyser needs to be out there, we need to see the speed guns as well," she said.

Inglefield, who marks a four-year loss of her own son on Carnival Monday, said police need to crack down on all infractions which could lead to accidents.

"People need to stop people from talking on cellphones too," she said.

Inglefield expressed her condolences to the family of those who lost their lives in the latest accidents.

"Please be very responsible, please drive responsibly, do not drink and drive, call a taxi, be your brothers keeper and do not let your friends drive drunk. But most of all do not push the boundaries, you may be the next one if you do," she said.

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