Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 18th 2013 Contents By Friday night, a friend of mine
was so distraught over the
deaths of twin girls in a terrible
car crash the previous weekend that
she was demanding Government
impose a new state of emergency.
There are too many young people
dying on our roads, she said; this is
serious and a state of emergency
would help manage the problem.
Another friend said that adults,
especially parents, needed to be
more responsible. What were those
18-year-olds, who were sitting
exams, doing in a nightclub anyway?
Parents shouldn t let their children
go out to parties that young, he said.
Having had an 18-year-old daugh-
ter, I m pretty sure that even if I had
banned her then, the risk would still
be very present today that she ll go
to a party at age 20, take the wrong
drop home and end up in a road
God forbid it happens, but I m
certain the parents of Khadijah and
Khertima Taylor, Kafiya Gill and
Chris Sookoo weren t expecting that
particular phone call either.
The truth is that vehicular acci-
dents, like the poor, will be with us
always. The question is what is the
best way to handle this culture of
reckless, drunk and/or tired driving
that results in fatal car accidents.
I respectfully disagree with my
friend who thinks a state of emer-
gency and curfew would have an
impact. I remember the last SoE
curfew, during which people just got
drunk and sped home earlier, so that
instead of at 4 am accidents hap-
pened at 10 pm.
Banning alcohol is no solution,
either. Prohibition does not work;
the US tried it and it failed. From
the persistence of our own T&T
marijuana consumption one can rea-
sonably conclude that banning
something doesn t guarantee it won t
continue to be available.
Does reducing the road fatality
statistics require some other legisla-
tive or governmental intervention?
Arrive Alive president Sharon
Inglefield was quoted in a newspaper
last week as saying: "We need to
enact laws that enhance and make
young drivers more competent and I
am specifically returning to the
Motor Vehicle Road Traffic Act,
speed management legislation, as
well as improving driver competency
by practical and theoretical defensive
driving made mandatory.
"We need to enact the point sys-
tem so we now have penalties and
therefore ensure that when we want
to be lawless we know that the
heavy hand is upon us."
We already have laws against
drunk driving, laws against speeding,
and laws against overloading vehicles
(the twins and their friend were
among six people in a five-seat car).
What we need is more consistent
I disagree with Inglefield s pointing
the finger at young drivers; I myself
am no spring chicken and I nearly
ploughed into a woman and child
one Ash Thursday morning a few
years ago. It happened after I had
played J Ouvert, and then mas on
Monday and Tuesday, and limed on
Ash Wednesday night, to boot. I
wasn t drunk, just exhausted. It was
8 am and what stopped the accident
was my waking up when the car
rolled off the road on to the gravel
of the shoulder where the woman
and child were standing.
Back to Friday night s heated dis-
cussion. We agreed that police
should impose sobriety checks out-
side of clubs to at least breathalyse
would-be drivers before they get
behind the wheel.
We also need to embrace the cul-
ture of the designated driver, instead
of making it so hard for people to
remain sober while liming. (Have you
ever ordered club soda at a bar?
People look at you like you re some
kind of freak and pressure you to get
a "real drink.")
Most importantly, we should all---
young and old---be more thoughtful
drivers. Driving drunk, driving while
tired, and driving recklessly are all
responsible for the carnage on our
roads; and the one thing they have
in common across income groups,
ages, races and geographical locations
is that they are all avoidable.
A T&T Guardian report published
after the twins accident said, "Min-
ister of Transport Chandresh Sharma
said yesterday that T&T has over
35,000 motor collisions per year---
roughly one collision every 20 min-
utes. He said more than 200 people
die in vehicular accidents each year."
This is an epidemic. What are we
going to do? More pertinently, what
are you, as a driver, going to do?
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, June 18, 2013
LISA ALLEN AGOSTINI
Sir Ronald Sanders:
No need for T&T/J'ca trade war
Jamaica will rise again and take its rightful role as the
pearl of the Caribbean. We have a population of close to
three million. We just need good leadership, which, in my
opinion, has been lacking since Independence.
We are a sleeping giant and once we wake up, we will
be a force to be reckoned with. All pretenders will see the
full potential of Jamaica.
Small thing en mas
Go and re-read every book on Trinidad written by VS
Naipaul. Naipaul gave a forewarning long ago of all of this.
Wasn't this writer trying to be an upstart with Mr
Naipaul himself when he visited Trinidad some years
ago? These observations are old hat and have been made
since the 50s.
Firetruck file missing---original
report removed from ministry
It occurs to me that this could not have happened
without the involvement of several people who
conveniently turned a blind eye to what amounts to an
obvious abuse of the public purse. Perhaps this is why
the bill is so high, perhaps there were many hands that
had to be greased. Maybe certain people's bank accounts
need to be checked for unexplained wealth acquired
around December 2012.
Be wary of the 'China dream'
Fools rush in where wise men failed to tread. Once
again the government is failing to do their homework
before signing documents and taking the plunge. Once
done the government would be finding it hard to undo.
Once the big boys from China move in then our local
business men will start to mourn. Wait for it.
WE SHOULD ALL BE MORE
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