Twenty-five persons died in vehicular accidents in SVG in 2015. (Photo: Facebook)

With 25 persons having died in 2015 as a result of motor vehicle accidents, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says that the motor vehicle “is fast becoming a dangerous weapon”.

He used his national address on Tuesday to mark the beginning of the New Year to appeal to drivers to do better on the nation’s roads.

St. Vincent’s road fatality count rises to 25

“There is too much careless and reckless driving. The motor vehicle is fast becoming a dangerous weapon. In 2015, 25 persons died in road traffic accidents, and dozens more suffered injuries. Surely, all of this is unacceptable,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, said the Police must better enforce the traffic laws, but added that drivers “have an over-riding obligation to drive with due consideration for other road users.”

He said that the government will in 2016 “embark upon a focused national conversation on this matter with a view to implementing appropriate changes.

“We must be very serious on this issue; it has become one of life and death.”

Gonsalves said the government also intends to build upon its existing efforts to stamp out violent crime, including gun crimes, and theft of farmers’ produce and animals.

“Further appropriate measures will shortly be announced. Hard working farmers deserve more protection from the ravages of these unconscionable persons who want to reap that which they did not sow; and homeowners must feel safer from burglars,” Gonsalves said.

2 replies on “‘The motor vehicle is fast becoming a dangerous weapon’ — PM”

  1. Jeannine James says:

    Motor vehicles might well be the cause of fewer untimely deaths than over-indulgence and poor nutrition. What happen now? Motor vehicles are worse than the easy, turn-a-blind-eye importation of illicit firearms? Stewps..

  2. Speed bumps in heavily populated areas would help a lot but are not in the cards because a lot of people would object to them.

    What else to do when the PM knows that voluntary compliance with traffic laws simply does not work in our law-avoidance country? The only practice that might work — both as a punishment and as a deference for others — is placing offenders on heavy manners via punishing fines, lengthy license suspension (and permanent suspension for a second offence), and jail time.

    The Rapid Response units and other special branches of the police are now performing duties ordinary officers were expected to do in years past. If the rural police attached to district police stations cannot at least enforce the various traffic acts, then they should be declared redundant and dismissed because they now have little else to do file frivolous complaints from the same group of cantankerous local people time and again and have long given up the important task of patrolling the streets on an ongoing basis.

    Traffic radar equipment — freely obtainable from other countries — could easily be made available in all rural stations to be used 24/7 to catch speeders and other offenders. Part of the fines collected could be set aside to buy additional equipment and other resources for these stations.

    This and other simple changes that would save lives are not rocket science: they are simply things routinely done in other jurisdictions all over the world.

    Talk is cheap, Prime Minister. Put your words into action.

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