‘Do what’s right’

Do the right thing and turn yourselves in.

That is the plea to those who were involved in the two hit-and-run accidents which occurred over the course of the last three days.

The Barbados Police Service, the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) and a veteran driving consultant issued the call following the deaths of Anderson Benedict Graham, 56, of Long Bay Village Road, St Philip, and Ainsley Roosevelt Bradshaw, 75, of Kings Court, Lodge Road, Christ Church.

Graham was killed on Saturday morning around 2 a.m. along Long Bay main road, while Bradshaw lost his life Monday after being struck along Lodge Road, Christ Church, around 9:15 p.m.

Public Affairs and Communications Officer Inspector Rodney Inniss said it was a question of morality.

“First thing, we want to express our condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims we lost over the long weekend. Three fatalities in a matter of three days is terrible, even one is one too many, particularly with hit-and-runs,” he said.

Inniss referred to a third accident which occurred early Monday morning which claimed the life of  Rasheed Shaquille O’Neal Austin, 29, of 14 Seagrape Drive Coverley Villages, Christ Church after the vehicle he was travelling in struck a utility pole and a tree before overturning.

He said: “When someone leaves the scene without checking with anyone, checking after the safety and well-being of the victim or even calling an ambulance, those things are horrific and lack morality, it is not only illegal. We don’t get a lot of hit-and-runs, it is unusual. If it is accidental, you have options. You may feel scared and run away from the scene but you can at least make a call to the ambulance service, you can call the police, you can make it known you were in an accident because the priority is the welfare of the injured person. I hope we are successful in bringing the perpetrators to justice. I want to tell them they can turn themselves in, with or without an attorney,” he said.

“Two [deaths] within three days is a sad story but I am not in a position to say it is an ongoing trend. The evidence does not suggest the acts were done on purpose. At any rate, the investigations are still at a sensitive stage, we don’t want to jump to any conclusions,” he said.

Interim BRSA president also implored the responsible drivers to turn themselves in.

“First, I want to express our condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased. As an association, we are concerned about what we have seen happen over the weekend and hit and runs are of particular concern. It speaks to a level of neglect and disregard for your fellow man.

“I understand there is a level of fear but I implore those drivers to come forward and bring closure to this situation. We do not want to see this become a trend, that is not who we are as Bajans,” he said during an interview with the DAILY NATION.

Lowe also implored motorists to stick to the speed limits as breaking them increased the likelihood of losing control of the vehicle which in turn could result in accidents, injuries and deaths, adding there were locations where people could engage in legal racing.

“Be considerate of others on the road, drive as if they are a loved one,” he said.

Former BRSA president Junior Jordan also condemned the acts. He appealed to the perpetrator(s) to do the right thing.

“It is a reprehensible act for anyone to hit anything, furthermore a human being and leave them there. I appeal [to them to] give themselves up. What if it was one of their family members left to die? It is not only against the law but immoral as well, a serious and despicable act. Give yourselves up, it is the decent thing to do,” he said, adding part of the punishment should be a lifelong ban from driving once convicted.

Jordan also lamented the increase in distracted driving; motorists not stopping at junctions, especially T-junctions; speeding, especially not adjusting speed from dry to wet roads and the prevalence of an aggressive ‘me first’ attitude.

“Pedestrians walking at night, remember to wear light colours or reflective vests, use a torch light and always check your surroundings. With the influx of electric vehicles, which are not noisy, there is a greater danger on the roads. Three road deaths in three days is unprecedented but I would advise people it only takes three-quarters of a second to lose a life on the road,” he said. (CA)

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