We see this in the Barbados Labour Party Blog this morning…
Government will be introducing legislation to parliament to ban the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle.
This practice has been found to be a major hazard as holding and using the phone presents a major distraction to motorists. However the “handsfree” variety will still be allowed.
This brings us inline with many metropolitan cities as they have recognised the inherent danger and taken action.
We would like to hear from the bloggers on this issue.
BLP Blog link here.
Banning cell phone use while driving is a no-brainer – with many jurisdictions either imposing an outright ban, or requiring the use of voice-dialing and hands-free kits (Our choice and the Government’s initiative).
According to The Nation News, the government will also be presenting the following highway law changes today…
To allow for the traffic ticket to be used as a summons to facilitate the effective administration of the ticketing system;
Ensuring drivers of certain vehicles be requested to obtain special licences in order to drive those vehicles;
Adjustments to the speed limits for various categories of vehicles;
The introduction of controls for the transport of hazardous materials; and
The restriction of the use of cellphones by motorists except the hands-free sets and communication devices fitted to the helmets of the police and other emergency personnel.
Drinking and Driving Still Not Effectively Addressed
All of this is a good start, but unfortunately doesn’t address the problem of drinking and driving – which is a concern on Barbados.
Unless there is something about the new legislation that the newspapers haven’t covered, Barbados still lacks an effective drinking and driving law.
If we are really concerned about public safety, we must have effective drinking-driving laws in place and equip the police with modern breathalizers and train enough officers as technicians to ensure 24/7 coverage.
So while we are pleased with the Government’s initiative as far as it goes, we can only give it a “B-Minus” or even “C-Plus” grade in terms of overall road safety performance.
How long would it take to get an effective drunk driving law and testing equipment & personnel in place? Six months if we started today?
How about it MPs? Can you make it happen in six months?