Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 3rd 2014 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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As the reign of the Merry Monarch takes centre
stage from 4 am today, continuing into tomorrow,
National Security Minister Gary Griffith says the
country has been transformed into a "blue light dis-
trict" with hundreds of police officers on the roads.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Griffith expressed
confidence that 2014 could be the safest Carnival ever.
"It s not that we have transformed the country into
a police state or anything like that. Every few minutes
there are about three to four police vehicles passing on
the highways and on the roads throughout the coun-
"That in itself is a deterrent which has reduced the
perception of crime," Griffith said.
He said some 3,800 police officers and 1,800 members
of the Defence Force had been deployed across T&T
for the festivities.
"I can assure that the entire country will be on a
lockdown, not only in Port-of-Spain but other areas
where Carnival is taking place. We have specific oper-
ational plans in place. It is a mammoth operation and
officers will be on duty until stand down," Griffith
He also urged citizens to play their part in the fight
against crime by relaying information to the police.
In giving an example, Griffith said on Saturday there
was a massive traffic pile-up along the western peninsula
because a bus broke down. Within minutes, however,
police were on the scene after receiving a report.
He said the National Operations Centre (NOC) was
working closely with the National Carnival Commission
(NCC) and other Carnival bodies in the co-ordination
of information as quickly as possible.
He also warned that officers would be placed at
strategic locations and anyone wanting to enter the city
with weapons or narcotics would be stopped, searched
"The searches would be sporadic and there would
be live feed from the helicopters to the NOC. Obviously
we cannot reveal where the officers would be placed,
but those entering Port-of-Spain whether travelling
[in a vhicle for hire] or driving should be warned of the
road blocks and the sporadic searches," Griffith said.
He said he would also be in various locations through-
out the country today and tomorrow, including Port-
of-Spain, Arima, Chaguanas, San Fernando and Toba-
A couple from Sangre Grande became
the country s latest road fatalities yester-
day, after the car they were in crashed
into a utility pole in Valencia while they
were returning home from a fete.
According to police reports, Otto Gilbert,
a 28-year-old off duty taxi driver, and his
girlfriend Kerry Ollivierre, 27, were heading
east along the Valencia stretch towards
Sangre Grande around 3.10 am when
Gilbert s black Mitsubishi Lancer taxi
reportedly collided with a silver Nissan
Wingroad, which was travelling in the oppo-
site direction. Gilbert s car only came to a
stop when it collided with a utility pole at
the side of the road. Gilbert was thrown
from the vehicle, while Ollivierre was
crushed in the front passenger seat.
Police and fire officers led by Senior Supt
Othniel Williams arrived on the scene within
minutes and removed Ollivierre from the
wreckage using hydraulic power tools.
Gilbert, of North Eastern Settlement,
Ojoe Road, Sangre Grande, and Ollivierre,
of Eastern Main Road, Sangre Chiquito,
were pronounced dead on the scene by a
District Medical Officer (DMO).
The driver of the Wingroad, Darryl
Sookdeo, 21, of Wallenville Road, Sangre
Grande, also sustained serious injuries in
the crash and was taken to the Sangre
Grande District Hospital for treatment. He
remained warded in a critical condition up
to last night.
Investigators believe that Gilbert may
have been intoxicated, as both the couple s
bodies and their car smelt of alcohol, and
both were wearing wristbands from a Car-
nival fete. Officers said Gilbert was more
than likely driving well over the speed limit,
as the car was almost completely distroyed
in the accident.
ASP Ramkelewan, Sgt Johnson and Cpl
Kitsingh, of the Sangre Grande Police Sta-
tion, are continuing investigations.
The road fatality toll for the year stood
at 30 yesterday, according to statistics from
the Highway Patrol and Traffic Branch.
Contacted yesterday, president of road
safety NGO Arrive Alive, Sharon Inglefield,
described the accident as tragic considering
the ages of the victims.
"I want to urge young people in particular
to stop drinking and driving, to stop speed-
ing and stop texting while driving," Inglefield
She noted that driving while intoxicated
and tired were two major causes of fatal
accidents and advised revellers taking part
in Carnival celebrations to designate a sober
driver for their journey home.
An individual masquerader from the band Tribal Plummage parades for the judges
during the Down Town Carnival Committe Children's Carnival parade on South Quay,
Port-of-Spain yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
5,600 security officers on streets
When attending parties
and other activities you are
reminded that you should:
• Wear minimal jewelry
• Travel in groups to and
• Not carry around or
display large amounts of
• Not have wallets and
change purses visible
• Not accept drinks from
strangers or leave drinks
• Prearrange transport
and designate an alcohol-
Parents and guardians are
reminded that their
• All wear identification
cards bearing their name,
name of parent/guardian,
address and telephone
• Not be left
unsupervised at home
• Not be left in the charge
• Not use public
conveniences unless an
adult accompanies them
• Not accept food or drink
• Not be taken to fetes
and other adult shows.
When leaving households
you are reminded that you
• Ensure that you secure
• Secure all ladders and
other implements in a
• Not leave keys in
mailboxes or under door
• Notify the police if you
are going to be away for
• Have a friend or relative
check the household to
remove newspapers and
• Teach your children to
lock the doors when they
• Ensure that the
property is illuminated at
• Be observant when
returning home, especially
Remember it is an offence
• Go through a red light
even at nights
• Travel in open trays of
pick up vans and trucks.
CARNIVAL SAFETY TIPS
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