The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) says it is deeply concerned about the frequency of motor vehicle accidents and incidences of reckless and dangerous driving on the public roads and thoroughfares of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
In a statement on Sunday, the police force said driving at excessively high speeds is one of the main causes of most of these accidents.
“In light of this, the RSVGPF wishes to reiterate to the general public that according to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act, Chapter 483 of 2009, the speed limit within the towns of Kingstown, Georgetown, and Calliaqua, and on Kingstown Hill and Sion Hill Road, within the villages of Sion Hill, Stubbs, and Bridgetown and within Friendly Village and through Byera Tunnel is 15 miles per hour (mph) for omnibuses or lorries, and 20 miles per hour (mph) for other vehicles,” the statement said.
It said that elsewhere in the country, the speed limit is 20 mph for omnibuses or lorries and 30 mph for other vehicles
“The RSVGPF therefore encourages all drivers and motorists (especially those who drive public service vehicles) to drive in accordance with the speed limit and with due care and attention to other road users. Road safety is not only the police’s responsibility. It is everybody’s.”
The statement said there are too many unnecessary motor vehicle accidents and incidences of reckless and dangerous driving in SVG.
“These incidents result in injuries, damage to vehicles and other property and, ultimately, loss of lives. These incidents can be reduced and or avoided by simply adhering to the traffic laws of SVG.”
The statement cited Traffic Branch statistics as showing a 5% increase in motor vehicle accidents for the third quarter of 2023 when compared to the same period in 2022.
There were 594 reported accidents in the third quarter of 2022 and 621 in 2023. For the same period under review, there were six and four fatal accidents respectively.
“Collectively, we can reduce these growing and unwelcome statistics. The Commissioner of Police assures the public that no effort will be spared in enforcing the traffic laws to ensure safety and security on our roads. The Commissioner of Police calls on all citizens and residents to work hand in hand with police to curb the number of motor vehicle accidents, dangerous driving, and incidences of road rage that have been creeping into our society.”
The statement said the commissioner is appealing to motorists and commuters to not drive over the designated speed limit; wear a seatbelt while driving; and not drink and drink.
Further, the police chief is also appealing to the travelling public to be courteous, tolerant, and respectful to users of the roads; not drive with your cellular phone, or any other item in your hand that can impede your judgment and control of the motor vehicle; and, refrain from playing loud music on public and private vehicles.
Motorists and commuters are also urged to make sure it is safe before crossing a pedestrian crossing and comply with the traffic laws, road signs, and other signals given by police officers conducting traffic duty.
“Those who fail to comply with the traffic laws of SVG will be prosecuted. Let us all work together to keep our nation’s roads safe. ‘Road safety is no accident’,” the statement said.