Barbados Government To Ban Cell Phones While Driving

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.

Our Comments

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?

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9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

9 responses to “Barbados Government To Ban Cell Phones While Driving

  1. Crusty

    Well, I can’t speak for the drink driving laws but I just witnessed
    a perfect example of why cellphone use should be banned in cars.

    I was following behind a sedan driving on a suburban road when
    the sedan slowed and turned right onto a side road. The side
    road has a difficult-to-manoevre dip at the intersection that can
    only be taken one wheel at a time. A cellphone was held to the
    driver’s right ear.

    Not only did the driver NOT signal, NOT stop before turning, and
    handle the dip badly, but that cellphone NEVER moved from the
    right ear, held up by the right hand.

    The driver slowed after the intersection and would have blocked
    me from overtaking while the conversation continued but for a
    driver ahead who signalled, causing a look behind.

    With a small burst of speed the driver moved off down the road,
    hesitated at the next intersection, and continued progress with a
    slight weave. All the while, the cellphone was glued to that ear.

    To make matters worse, suddenly the LEFT hand was gesturing
    in the air and brushing hair on the head. So for a few seconds
    that car was moving down the road without hands on the wheel,
    and probably with a brain barely engaged in the driving process.

    If only the police could witness such behaviour and apprehend
    the culprit before something really serious happens.

  2. Philip Hunte

    Soon Barbados will be the only country where it will be illegal to drive with a cellphone in your hand but not with a beer bottle!

  3. Noel

    I am coming over next week to get married i shall look forward to having a few drinks and driving home

  4. People have offered various situations as “proof” that racism exists. I simply do not accept those examples as proof of racism. I do believe that racism exists in Barbados… I would do, I have been on the receiving end of it when I was the only “white” boy in an all black school.

  5. sorry about the miss post.. to many windows open

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