With Monday’s Homestretch Avenue accident claiming five lives, the PPP yesterday urged drivers to act more responsibly, while APNU candidate David Granger said the Home Ministry must accept blame, given its neglect of road safety.
For the year there have been 68 road fatalities, and from the beginning of June to Monday night there were more than 15.
Monday evening’s accident claimed the lives of Coretta Benjamin, 39; her daughter, Crazel Paul, 8, Peter McLennon, 29; Junior Duncan, 48; and Erica La Cruz, 18, all of Sophia. Ten others were injured.
The accident occurred after a rear tyre of Route 48 minibus BMM 9888, which was carrying them, blew out, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
The vehicle was said to be speeding at the time.
In a statement, the ruling party said it was very aggrieved at the latest loss of lives.
“It is tragic that so many families and friends of the victims have been plunged into grief by what appears to be irresponsibility of the bus driver,” the PPP said. It urged all drivers, and in particular drivers of public transport, to remember that they have a great responsibility for the lives of their passengers and road users.
The ruling party also urged commuters to speak up and insist that drivers conduct themselves in a responsible manner as well as advocate them to desist from speeding. The PPP extended deepest sympathy to the grieving families of those killed in the accident, and also wished a speedy recovery for the injured.
However, Granger said that there was need for better oversight in licensing drivers and policing the roadways. The APNU presidential candidate visited relatives of the deceased in Sophia yesterday.
According to him, many persons who are not properly trained have been allowed licences. He said drivers responsible for citizens’ lives should have to qualify for a special commercial licence and be subjected to retesting for renewal. “They are not carrying cargo,” he said, “They are carrying human beings.”
Granger also took aim at the Home Affairs Ministry, saying that it must bear responsibility for the continuing spate of accidents. He said the police force’s traffic department was not equipped to patrol the most vulnerable areas, while noting that it was known that bus drivers race down Homestretch Avenue, and especially during rush hour.