Daily Archives: June 1, 2010

Speaker of the House Michael Carrington calls for Barbados breathalyser law

Every year more people are killed in road accidents in Barbados than are murdered, yet successive BLP and DLP governments refuse to implement breathalyser equipment and modern laws to protect people from drunk drivers.

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

Can MP Michael Carrington lead the way? Will the Health & Transport Ministers join him?

We see in today’s Barbados Advocate that Speaker of the House and MP for St. Michael West signed a petition calling for the government to enact breathalyser laws.

Signing was an excellent gesture by Mr. Carrington and we hope that he continues to push for his government to finally do something about the carnage on our roads.

His next step should perhaps be to speak with Health Minister Donville Innis who exhibited a definite “take it or leave it – not really interested” attitude to breathalyser laws when Mr. Innis last talked with Barbados Free Press about the subject in December of 2009.

I don’t know why this should be so difficult because breathalysers will save lives, and both the law and the technology are relatively cheap, quick and easy to implement. It’s not like we have to invent anything or do much more than copy and paste laws from other countries with a little tweaking for our culture and court system.

Maybe if folks at Parliament could leave their pistols at home and stay sober for a couple of days we could get this law passed! (sorry… couldn’t help it.)

Further Reading

Dec 21, 2009 – Barbados Health Minister Donville Inniss: Breathalyzer Law & Equipment not necessary

Oct 5, 2009 – The Failure of DLP and BLP Governments to protect Bajans from dangerous & drunk drivers

November 22, 2008: Barbados Bus Crash Injures 59 – Police Cannot Determine If Drivers Had Been Drinking

November 22, 2007 – Five Year Sentence For Dangerous Driver – But Still No Breathalyzer Law

October 30, 2007 – More Road Deaths Than Murders: Yet Barbados Still Does Not Have Breathalyzer Laws Or Technology

August 15, 2007 – Minister of Transport Gline Clarke Finally “Talking” About Driver Breathaliser Tests – As First Suggested By By Barbados Free Press Over A Year Ago

July 25, 2006 – Barbados Government To Ban Cell Phones While Driving

Top photo: Barbados Advocate

Bottom: Nation News

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Disaster, Health, Police

South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo Returning To Brooklyn Center For The Performing Arts

Tickets available for March 19, 2011

Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s recent release, Songs From A Zulu Farm (February 2011), is the group’s most personal work to date.  “These are songs from the earliest time in our lives,” says Shabalala. “These are stories our fathers and mothers and other relatives shared with us, songs our grandparents sang.  We have changed them somewhat and/or added extra harmonies and lyrics, but overall these songs represent an important memory of our early life. When we sing these songs, we’re singing songs from our history.”

Be There! Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 8pm

Two years ago I wrote about Shona and I seeing Ladysmith Black Mambazo when the sisters got together in New York City. At the time I said, Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Music

Bollywood comes to Bridgetown – Akshay Kumar enjoyed Twenty20 Cricket and Barbados. Indian papers still following Barbados Free Press

Indian action movie icon Akshay Kumar took his friends to Barbados on a chartered bizjet

I confess that I’d never heard of Akshay Kumar when a Google-alert for “barbados” landed in our inbox and said the Bollywood star had left a movie set in Vancouver Canada because he wanted to see some Twenty/20 cricket in Barbados. Kumar chartered a large jet and took a dozen or so friends with him – paying the whole shot. (Where do I sign on to be his friend? 🙂 )

The stuntman turned movie star can do that because a billion people in India love the guy and he’s made almost 100 Hindi films. From what I read online he still does his own stunts and we’re not talking wimpy fights and falls. In one recent film Kumar jumped from one external elevator to another 125 feet in the air without the benefit of safety ropes etc. Not bad for an old man over 40!

Small world syndrome: Indian papers still cover Barbados & Barbados Free Press articles

Along with the Google Alert about Akshay Kumar, we started to receive all kinds of links to Indian newspapers and media featuring stories about Barbados. These stories were a result of the Twenty20 event and, unlike the disastrous coverage of the disastrous 2007 Cricket World Cup, the stories about Barbados were 100% positive. That went for the rest of the world too.

There’s something to be learned there, friends.

In both events Barbados welcomed the world’s cricket fans – but with Twenty20 we kept it real. Visitors experienced real Barbados and Bajan cricket and all that means. We didn’t spend a fortune on non-essentials and we didn’t phony up the place by painting houses or adopting European standards for events. (Which, judging by their football hooligans, aren’t so great anyway!)

BLP supporters will point out that Cricket World Cup was on an entirely different scale, that India fared badly and that we learned much from the mistakes at CWC that we corrected this time. All that is true.

But it’s also true that the BLP overspent at CWC like the world was ending tomorrow and much of the style and cost of CWC was reflective of the pretentiousness and elitism of the BLP government at the time. They believed their own hype! Not to forget that the outrageous overspending and mistakes by Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and Noel Lynch left the cupboard bare so this time around we had to make do… and making do was just what led to the success of Twenty20.

Oh… and we had lights at the oval too!

This time Indian cricket fans and their press came and liked what they saw of the real Barbados. Here we are weeks later and the Indian media outlets are still running positive stories about our little rock, our people and our tourist attractions. Unbelievably the India Times website is still linking to new Barbados Free Press stories and that’s rather special.

Noel Lynch: Moron

Unlike Noel Lynch and his gang, I’m not stupid enough to believe that Air India will be running direct flights into Grantley Adams anytime soon – and I’m also not stupid enough to pay for them like the BLP paid for Air India’s abortive CWC venture. But…

The recent Twenty20 experience has shown that, when done correctly and kept real, sports tourism is cost-effective and generates worldwide positive press for Barbados long after an event.

So kudos to the DLP government and all the folks who made Twenty20 a success by keeping our costs down and welcoming cricket fans with real Bajan hospitality.

As to Noel Lynch preparing for his 1000 yachts anchored offshore and people sleeping in the streets during Cricket World Cup…

What a moron!

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Cricket