Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 7th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Saturday, February 7, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Over 15,000 motorists each year since 2013
have been caught on camera committing traffic
violations at the traffic light near the Hyatt,
Port-of-Spain, Works Minister Suruj Rambachan
Speaking on amendments to the Motor Vehicle
Act, Rambachan said the camera, which tracks
violations, caught 16,055 drivers in 2013 and 21,310
violations in 2014. Rambachan said up to January
2015, some 1,736 violations were also caught on
camera at that one traffic light.
"It shows the kind of people we have become
regarding violations," Rambachan added.
He said the amount of money which could have
been obtained in fines from such violations was
Rambachan said figures for persons charged
for driving under the influence of alcohol were
706 in 2012, the same number in 2013 and 731
He said 59 per cent of violations in 2014 were
in the south and southwest region and seven per
cent were in Central. "It s the tip of the iceberg,"
Rambachan said statistics showed there were
786,297 vehicles registered in T&T.
He called for a probe of situations where non-
English speaking applicants were getting drivers
licences even though the written regulations test
was in English. He said tests could be the subject
of manipulation. He said he had come across peo-
ple driving in Chaguanas, unable to speak English,
and making mistakes on the roads.
He said T&T was party to a 1949 UN convention
allowing people from other countries who had a
valid driving licence to present that to authorities
within 90 days and only take a driving test. He
said the convention might have to be revisited.
Saying behaviour in T&T had to change for
accidents to decrease, he added a vehicle was a
weapon in the hand of a person and increasing
irrational behaviour was being seen on the roads.
Rambachan said three weeks ago his vehicle
and another, while returning from his constituency,
were tailed by a group of motorcyclists who kept
cutting in and out of his vehicle s path.
He said one rider rode alongside his vehicle
and made the sign of firing a gun at him with
his finger. Rambachan said he posted the number
of the cyclist on Facebook.
Rambachan said the bill called for new drivers
to be accompanied for a period by people who
have had a drivers licence for at least five years.
"We must protect people against themselves.
There are many stories of youths who just got
their licence who died in accidents. The bill is
correct in placing restrictions on new drivers," he
JENSEN LA VENDE
An elderly man was dismembered yester-
day after being hit by a car while crossing
the Churchill -Roosevelt Highway near the
El Socorro Industrial Estate, San Juan.
The accident caused a massive pile-up which
kept motorists in traffic for hours, resulting
in a the loss of several hours of human resource
time for businesses.
According to police reports, around 5.15 am
Ramjit Ramesar was attempting to cross the
west-bound lane of the highway, approximately
50 metres away from the walkover, when he
was hit by a Nissan B15.
The force of the impact severed both his
legs and one of his feet, while the rest of his
body was lodged in the windshield of the driv-
er s car.
The accident caused a major traffic jam
heading into the city, forcing the authorities
to open the Priority Bus Route (PBR) from 8
am to 10 am to all traffic heading west. Despite
this, traffic was still almost at a standstill up
to 11 am.
Contacted yesterday, director of the National
Operations Centre Garvin Heera said the jam
was caused by motorists who wanted to use
the PBR despite the highway being cleared
some two hours after the accident.
He said the vehicle involved and three others
which were also involved in a minor accident
following the fatal accident, were removed
and Ramesar s body taken to the Port-of-
Spain mortuary within two hours.
Police were dispatched to help direct traffic
but some motorists took advantage of the
opened PBR well past the allocated time, caus-
ing further traffic, Heera said.
Coupled with that were the motorists who
slowed down to look and take pictures of the
So far this year, nine people have died as
a result of vehicular accidents. The last three
fatalities were pedestrians.
According to the road safety watch group,
Arrive Alive, in 2014 164 people died in 146
road traffic accidents and 39 were pedestri-
Suruj: Tip of the iceberg
39,000 break Hyatt red light in three-year span...
COURSES FOR NEW DRIVERS
The bill also calls for new drivers to
be enrolled in drivers' education
courses. He said things changed in a
country and highways were built and
even experienced drivers needed
defensive driving courses.
He said drivers over age 65 would
also have to satisfy physical fitness
needs concerning vision, hearing and
bodily and mental fitness.
If they were refused a licence, he
added, they could seek a driving test.
People over 65 will also have to get a
medical certificate in renewing licences
every two years.
Rambachan said a doctor who
issued a medical certificate without
examining the person would be
committing an offence, carrying a
$10,000 fine and one-year jail
While not casting aspersions, he
said there were too many cases of
scant examinations. He said people
with medical conditions must inform
their doctors of that.
Driving schools/instructors will be
regulated under the act, as will as car
rental businesses which will have to be
registered. Car traders will also be
Rambachan said there were many
cases of people who paid down for
cars and could not get them after that.
A $5,000 fine or jail is proposed for
drivers who don't carry their licence.
EL PECOS PROBE
Works Minister Suruj Rambachan
said yesterday he hoped the explosion
accident at El Pecos, Maraval, would be
thoroughly probed to see who was
He said filling gas took place daily in
places and inspections of premises and
vehicles in which gas was transported
should always be done.
Rambachan said the ministry had
also removed Priority Bus Route
passes from several drivers following
complaints and probes of "fleecing" of
passengers, particularly students.
Fatal road mishap causes gridlock
The scene of the accident along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway near the El Socorro Industrial Estate, San Juan, yesterday.
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