APPROXIMATELY $280,000 in fixed penalty fines have been handed out to drivers in south Trinidad for the year so far.
Between January 19 and 20, 13 motorists were arrested for driving under the influence and have since been fined a total of $50,000.
This was according to Sgt Vijay Ramdhanie of the Police Traffic Branch who read out some of the police service's latest statistics to reporters during the police's weekly press briefing held last Thursday morning at the Police Administration Building, Port of Spain.
Also hosting the press briefing was ASP Joanne Archie and SRP Brent Batson of the National Road Safety Council.
"Safety is paramount," said Sgt Ramdhanie who explained that being caught behind the wheel while intoxicated could lead to a $5,000 fine and if caught again, a $15,000 fine followed by a ban on driving if a person is arrested a third time for drunk driving.
"There are already people out there who have been banned from driving for life since the laws came into effect," said Sgt Ramdhanie.
He added that some people tried to explain that they had been driving for the past 20 years and within that time some of the rules, regulations and road signs would have changed.
"But if that is so then the onus is on the motorist to refresh himself about these new rules and regulations."
Sgt Ramdhanie said that since the start of the year they had been working with fete promoters who allowed the police to set up a breathalyser booth at Carnival parties, "so that we can undertake a more pro-active approach in dealing with these road fatalities".
Batson also spoke about a fatal accident near the Valsayn intersection along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway last Tuesday. He said many motorists were of the view that once the light was green it was okay to go.
"Green is not go but rather you need to wait a two or three seconds to make sure the road is clear and then you proceed," he said.