“… At present, the government is doing all it can to improve road safety and traffic flow. However no improvement will have any effect if Barbadians continue to drive reckless!”
… from the Barbados Advocate newspaper editorial Slow Down!
The Barbados Advocate declares war on criticism of the DLP Thompson Government
That’s it folks. No further comment is needed about the government’s policies and actions concerning road safety, roads or traffic flow. The editors of the Barbados Advocate have looked into everything and declared “the government is doing all it can…”
Yup. That’s it right there. Might as well shut down the blogs, the competitive Nation newspaper and disband the Barbados Road Safety Association. The Barbados Advocate says the government has it all under control and “is doing all it can…”
Strangely absent from the editorial is any mention of the absence of modern drinking and driving laws in Barbados despite promises by successive DLP and BLP governments over the last 25 years. Also absent is any acknowledgment that we pay our police officers so little that we are one hundred officers under authorized strength. Very few quality people want to be a Barbados police officer and that shortage means that traffic enforcement is neglected.
The worst of it is that when a serious motor vehicle accident happens, our police officers lack the laws, technology and training to determine if alcohol played a factor. Barbados Free Press has been calling for breathaliser laws and equipment for the police for approaching four years now. In that time we have seen some horrible accidents and even mass fatal accidents – but our law enforcement officers still have no way of testing to see how much those drivers had been drinking. Short of falling down drunk, there is no law against drinking and driving in Barbados.
As we said almost a year ago when we criticised the Thompson DLP government for doing nothing about the slaughter on our roads…
The first job of government is to protect the citizens, and successive BLP and DLP governments have failed to protect the citizens when it comes to people who drink and drive.
Six dead at the Joes River tour bus crash, four more dead in the Emancipation Day crash and others. But in these and other serious crashes since, aside from an autopsy, Barbados Police have no way of proving how much an involved driver has been drinking.
That is because our government has been negligent in providing the legal structure and the equipment that the police need to protect us all.
… from the BFP article Barbados Bus Crash Injures 59 – Police Cannot Determine If Drivers Had Been Drinking
Three Men Who Could Have Saved Lives But Chose Not To
Prime Minister David Thompson, Attorney General Freundel Stuart and Minister of Transportation John Boyce did nothing in the past nineteen months to introduce breathalyzer laws and equipment to Barbados, or to stop the drunken slaughter on our roads every weekend that kills outright or cripples people for life and destroys faces, families and livelihoods.
They have no reasonable excuse for not doing so.
Further Reading at Barbados Free Press
November 22, 2007 – Five Year Sentence For Dangerous Driver – But Still No Breathalyzer Law
July 25, 2006 – Barbados Government To Ban Cell Phones While Driving