Police share road safety tips for the long weekend ahead

As members of the public gear up for a long weekend, which may include travel across the island, Senior Superintendent with responsibility for traffic, David Welch, is urging road users to comply with all traffic laws and road signs.

Senior Superintendent Welch said The Barbados Police Service (TBPS) remains committed to ensuring the safe use of roads, and a safe environment for all road users.

“Collisions can happen anywhere. However, speed, distractions and bad use of the roads are contributors to vehicular crashes, injuries, and deaths. Although the roadway has speed limits for different classes of vehicles, we encourage drivers to assess the conditions of the roadway,” he stated.

The Senior Superintendent encouraged members of the public, especially road users, to familiarise themselves with the traffic tips below to help save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce the likelihood of being involved in a collision.

Some tips for drivers are:

• Owners and drivers must ensure that their vehicles are in proper working order, tyres are not defective, and windscreens are well maintained.

• Seatbelts must always be worn and used correctly when the specific class of vehicle is turned on or in motion. Additionally, children under four years old must be in a child safety seat and therefore parents are urged to install children’s booster and car seats.

• When driving behind vehicles, observe the three to four second rule. Drivers must be able to view, without obstruction, the rear wheels of the vehicle immediately in front of them.

• Do not overshoot junctions; bring the vehicle to a stop behind the solid white line or stop sign.

• On the approach of oncoming traffic at night, drivers must dim their headlights. It is an offence to have headlights that cannot be adjusted, or that are defective.

• Drivers and owners of vehicles must always check their lighting system to ensure it is in good working condition.

• Do not perform stunts and race on the roadways, as these are prohibited by law. These acts can contribute to injuries, death, and destruction of property.

• Avoid road rage and respect other road users. Do not drive aggressively or create situations that may lead to confrontations.

• Avoid overcrowding vehicles.

• To get to your destination safely and on time, leave early to avoid speeding. Additionally, drivers must know the speed limits of the various roadways and for their class of vehicles.

Cell phone and headset usage:

• It is unlawful to have a mobile phone in your hands while operating or driving a vehicle. Consider the use of wireless in-car systems, where applicable.

• The law prohibits the use of earpieces and headsets whilst operating a vehicle, unless medically prescribed.

Tips for motor and bicyclists:

• Wear helmets as prescribed by law, to reduce crash-related injury and death.

• Ride closest to the left side and in single file when in a group.

Tips for pedestrians:

 • Always walk towards oncoming traffic; use sidewalks where provided; and wear bright clothing at night, when possible.

Tip for drivers and cyclists:

• Always avoid driving or riding when fatigued, impaired (by alcohol, drugs) or when heavily medicated (know what effects medication can have on your ability to safely drive). (BGIS)

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