Traffic Chief Neil Semple is alarmed at the number of road deaths and has urged all road users to exercise caution on the roadways, on a recent edition of “Law Enforcement and You” hosted on NCN.
According to a Government Information Agency press release Semple said there are diverse opinions and suggestions about what needs to be done to curb carnage on the road. “In many instances we have seen one of the causes being drivers’ indiscipline and the records have shown the recent fatalities…. [were due to] driving under the influence,” he said. Also, regarding calls for the police to be more vigilant, the traffic chief said it is unfair for persons to accuse the police of not doing enough patrols in the wee hours of the morning. He said the police cannot patrol every single bar between 3am and 6am.
However, in the wake of recent accidents, emergency meetings have been convened to examine several aspects of the entire policing operations conducted day and night. “We have come up with something to reinforce our enforcement, reinforce our education aspect, the support for the stakeholders, members of the public to abide by the rules and the guidelines dealing with the safety of the road,” Semple said.
According to the traffic chief the police force is open to listening to complaints from the public, not only concerning accidents but about any other illegalities. “Come into us and give us statements and we will have them prosecuted. But we have seen that members of the public are in taxis and minibuses that are driving at a rate and they make no complaints…when something happens then they come and say that the driver was speeding and that it’s a regular thing.
I think more can be done under those… circumstances because we have always committed to taking action to support members of the public who have come to us with information,” he said.
Semple then encouraged the public to make police reports about erratic drivers even if the driver is a police officer.
He also indicated that police officers who are found guilty of misconduct face the same penalties as civilians and often time their force permit is revoked and they are fined and put before the court.
“We expect those persons to display high quality discipline so that they could be role models to other persons. You can’t want to park at a stop sign or a no parking sign and expect members of the public to obey the law,” he added.
Senior Superintendent of Police John Daniels noted that the programmes to educate the public are ongoing.
“We need the members of the public to assist us on getting there; these spontaneous accidents are not very new to anyone but you know when these things happen there is a concern so we have to still keep our heads up, continue our traffic enforcement, continue educating the public on the proper use of the road.
We have to be very conscious of our role as pedestrians when we are on the road,” he said.
In addition, to the educational programmes, Daniels added the police have implemented measures such as fitness and breathalyzer tests to curb accidents.