After 18 years of plans, the traffic wardens programme finally got off the ground last week.
The training of 300 traffic wardens will be done in batches over a four-week period. The first batch of 87 comprises 40 males and 47 females.
Speaking at the launch of the training programme at the Chaguaramas Convention Centre, last Wednesday, Minister of Works and Transport Jack Warner said he was extremely pleased that the programme was closer to becoming a reality but questioned why it took so long to be implemented.
"Something has to be wrong with a system, with a country, to take so long to get a good idea off the ground, and the idea of traffic wardens is a good idea although it is not a new idea because other countries are doing it all we had to do was take what they are doing and tweak it and do it here in Trinidad and Tobago."
Addressing the trainees, Warner said he expected them to give it their best shot and make themselves and their country proud.
"You have to be able to perform and make sure that people obey the law and for people to obey the law, you yourself must know it you cannot charge them for something you don't know but always remember in this profession you have no friends," he said.
Warner said he intended to take in another 200-300 recruits after the first 300 trainees graduate from the programme.
The wardens will be deployed in the first instance in the "city of Port of Spain, San Fernando, the borough of Chaguanas and then you go to Princes Town, Arima and throughout the country but we are doing it in the key areas first", Warner said.
Warner said the traffic wardens will be also given the authority to make arrests for traffic offences.
"I don't believe making an arrest is any big thing; anybody could make a citizens arrest so we give them the power yes."
Regarding the need for more police presence on the highways, Warner said he has spoken with Minister of National Security, John Sandy and has also written to Commissioner of Police, Dwayne Gibbs.