The pending amendments to the Road Traffic Regulations should call for the outfitting of all Public Service vehicles with seat belts for passengers.
Parliamentary representative for Christ Church West Central Stephen Lashley made this call today while speaking on a money resolution for $10.3 million for road construction and maintenance.
In making his call, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs said: “Transport Board buses, route taxis, maxi taxis and any vehicle that transport passengers need to be outfitted with seat belts.
“I do not accept the fact that Transport Board buses and route taxis are not fitted with seat belts. I suspect that particularly in relation to those mass casualty events we had over the past number of weeks and the number of casualties that have been injured could have been reduced were it be for the mandatory outfitting of vehicles with seat belts.”
Addressing the issue of inspection of public service vehicles, the MP said: “The other concern that I have is that I am not convinced that our current system of inspection affecting particularly public service vehicles in a very specific way is doing all that it should do.
“I believe that we need to have a much more rigorous system in place for Transport Board buses and ZRs and other vehicles used to transport members of the public.
“We have seen some years ago the incident of one vehicle moving Crop Over passengers from the St Michael area to the East Coast when we had [the] Soca Royale event. That particular incident where one vehicle would have the brakes failing. It resulted in the death of several passengers who would have taken that vehicle believing that it was safe to use.
“We need to give the public greater assurance by some visible means, perhaps an inspection certificate required to be posted on these vehicles to give the public the assurance that they have been appropriately inspected,” Lashley added.
Earlier, Lashley suggested that financial allocations should be included in the Estimates for each constituency for road construction and maintenance.
He also addressed the issue of motorists ignoring red lights and suggested that traffic cameras should be pressed into service with an automated ticketing system.