Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 23rd 2016 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, February 23, 2016
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The failure of the
Government to imple-
ment a comprehensive
road safety plan and to
assist police in enforc-
ing road traffic laws is
being blamed for a
recent spike in road
In a telephone inter-
view, yesterday, presi-
dent of road safety
awareness group Arrive
Alive, Sharon Inglefield,
highlighted the urgent
need for the Govern-
ment to implement
speed guns, traffic cam-
eras, as well as a more
stringent process for
obtaining a diver s
Stating that there
have been 30 road fatal-
ities for the year so far,
a drastic increase on last
year s figure, Inglefield
said: "To be very honest
we keep pointing fingers
at the drivers but we do
not have a cohesive road
safety system in place
and drivers have gotten
their licences in an inef-
ficient and inadequate
Inglefield also pointed
to the inability of police
to enforce laws as a
major factor encourag-
ing delinquent drivers.
"If we travel to
another country like
Sweden, the United
Kingdom, Canada and
the United States, we
obeying the law there
because we are afraid of
being locked up. Why
are we getting away
with it in our own
country? The conse-
quences of that action
is death," Inglefield said.
"You could educate,
build awareness and
advocate but if we do
not have the laws in
place, the speed guns
and cameras and there
is no enforcement, it will
continue," she added.
Referring to an acci-
dent along the Uriah
Butler Highway on Sat-
urday night, which
claimed the lives of 23-
year-old Aleem Akaloo
and 30-year-old Jillian
St Bernard, Inglefield
said road barriers
between the north and
southbound lanes could
have prevented the col-
lision or minimise its
According to reports,
St Bernard was travel-
ling in the northbound
lane when she lost con-
trol of her vehicle and
crossed the median
landing in the south-
bound lane and on top
of Akaloo s SUV.
Akaloo s passenger
managed to escape with
"We could have
avoided those deaths
over the weekend if bar-
riers were in place. They
(the Government) just
allocated how may mil-
lions of dollars for the
Zika virus, what is the
budget for road safety?"
According to statistics
compiled by Inglefield s
was the cause of 55 per
cent of road accidents
and road fatalities
recorded between 2007
and 2012---a period in
which 1,278 people lost
their lives in accidents.
Alcohol was the cause
of 30 per cent of fatal
accidents, while red
light running and failure
to wear a seat beat
accounted for the
remainder. There was a
slight reduction in road
fatalities between 2014
and last year, with 156
and 147 being killed in
those years, respectively.
In 2013, former trans-
port minister Stephen
Cadiz had promised
that speed guns would
come into effect by Feb-
ruary 2014 in a bid to
curb reckless driving.
Cadiz had made the
announcement at a
conference at the Diplo-
matic Centre, St Ann s,
in which he said police
would be trained to use
some 400 speed detec-
tion devices, which were
expected to be made
available in all divisions.
But in July last year,
Cadiz said an adminis-
trative flaw in the pro-
curement process had
forced the Vehicle
of T&T (VMCOTT) to
terminate its previous
tender for the guns and
reopen a new tender.
For the guns to be put
to use, the Motor Vehi-
cle and Road Traffic Act
will also need to be
amended by Parliament
as the law in its current
form does not allow for
for speed and the reg-
ulation would have to
state the type of instru-
ment being used and the
procedure for using it.
The T&T Guardian
attempted to contact
Works and Transport
Hinds for comment on
whether the tender
process had been com-
pleted and a timeframe
for implementation, but
calls to his cellphone
went unanswered yes-
Students at the Chaguanas North
Secondary School were searched on
arrival at the compound yesterday
morning in light of the recent planned
gun attack made against members of
On Friday, a plan to execute members
of staff, which included a teacher and
security guard, was thwarted after author-
ities received information.
School was dismissed early that day
and members of the Defence Force took
up posts at the school to assist.
Bags were checked manually and the
students were checked with scanners for
any possible weapons.
Six estate constables from the MTS
took up duty at the front of the com-
pound with police officers regularly cross-
ing the compound.
The usual complement of security offi-
cers is between two and three, the T&T
When the T&T Guardian visited the
school, several of the students were mak-
ing loud animal noises and walking in
classes and around the compound.
Other students were playing football
on the west side of the compound.
One teacher said, "What do you expect
when they are not being supervised?"
He said it was frightening to hear of
the plan to have a gun attack on the
"I was afraid when I heard it was hap-
pening last week but I came early today
knowing it have security," he said.
Security officers at the school were
pleasant but kept a watchful eye on the
Yesterday, staff members which includ-
ed some 150 teachers, the school super-
visor, MTS supervisors and the Chagua-
nas police held a meeting to discuss
alternatives and options.
Several teachers left the compound
before lunch, driving quickly off of the
Police officers visited the compound
to check on their colleagues who were
in the meeting.
In an interview outside the school sev-
eral students claimed they did not know
of the plan but were afraid.
"It have a lot of security and police.
I was a little afraid about the guns. I don t
interact much with the students but there
is guns there, I heard about it," one of
the female students said.
Another student said, "It makes no
difference because it is just words and
"I am afraid of what I heard in the
media," another female student said.
Other students refused to comment
on the issue, taking their time and waiting
Nonetheless, neighbours claimed that
the students usually terrorised pedes-
trians and people living in the commu-
Roxanne Craig, one of the residents
from Enterprise, said parents needed to
take a stand against the problem.
"Parents should come together and
bring attention to this situation in the
school. It has been long ongoing and
there was always an issue," she said.
Craig said the students go into a nearby
fast food outlet and create havoc on the
premises. She said they throw garbage
on the ground and cause problems.
"It is a like a big confusion and the
students are totally lawless. People don t
want to pass with them there. They
walking in front of your car and not
moving and have an attitude. You have
to pass around or go before they come
out," she said.
She said that the few students who
are indisciplined are the ones causing
"It is bad and the teachers are afraid
and don t want to say. It need police in
the evening to come here and send them
home," she said.
Craig said the cameras on the school
compound don t serve any purpose.
"Because the school is really large and
they destroying the cameras."
Stanley Fader, another resident, said
the students were a big problem to the
Fader said he has lived in the area 55
years, even before the school was built.
"What! These stupid children. I see
a girl not even 18 years old chook (stab)
another boy while they was in the school
uniform. Then she mother come and
take up the bottle too," he said.
"They even having sex in the school
toilet. I can t believe it. They even thieving
my orange and grapefruit," he said.
The school s supervisor and the prin-
cipal refused to comment yesterday,
referring all questions to the Commu-
nications Unit of the Ministry of Edu-
Arrive Alive urges
The number drawn yesterday
on CNC3 News for the Money
Mania promotion was 369410.
Our Money Mania promotion
team is now in search of a new
If the number at the back of
your yesterday s Guardian was
369410 you have won $25,000
You have until 3pm today to
come to the Guardian office, Rod-
ney Road, Endeavour, Chaguanas,
with the newspaper containing
the winning number (in the order
it was drawn) and photo identi-
fication to claim your prize.
Remember to keep your
"today s paper" and tune into
tonight s CNC3 News to find out
if you have won.
Money Mania Cash jackpot $25,000
Students of Chaguanas North Secondary School are searched before entering the
school's compound, yesterday, following last Friday's report of an impending gun
attack which forced school officials to dismiss classes early. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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