In light of a recent accident involving a five-year-old primary school student, the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) is once again calling for authorities to pay closer attention to speed limits and pedestrian facilities around schools.
The call has come following last week’s accident, where Antonio Sullivan of St Mark’s Primary was struck by a motorvan not far away from the school.
In a press release issued by its president Sharmane Roland-Bowen, the BRSA said it was important for safer environments to be provided for the more vulnerable in society.
“The BRSA is not going to wait until a fatality occurs, where an innocent child becomes a victim and is added to the high number or pedestrian fatalities on this island. Last year there were seven pedestrians killed on our roads out of a total of 23 fatalities. Let’s prevent this from happening now, instead of reacting when it does,” the release stated
“I am sure this is not only occurring in St Philip, but around other schools in other parishes as well. The calls for a lower speed limit of 30 kph in school zones and also more pavements around schools will create a much safer environment for our most vulnerable road users.”
Bowen argued that while traffic wardens were present at most schools, more still needed to be done.
“Many schools do have facilities for children to be led across the road by a school traffic warden, which is commendable, but many children still have to walk along our roads which are not catered for pedestrian safety.
“There are only rectangular informational signs stating ‘Reduce Speed Now’ [but] this is too subjective. We need a circular sign with an order stating exactly what speed motorists are to reduce their speed to. A speed limit sign of 30 kph is quite safe, as research shows there is a 95 per cent survival rate if a pedestrian is hit by a car at this speed,” the release pointed out.
“In this year of our 50th anniversary of Independence, we should be investing in safer roads for all, especially our young generation of road users, particularly if we want them to be around to see the 100th year of Independence of this country.”
Among the BRSA’s other wishes for 2016 is to see the implementation of breathalyzer legislation, improved education and training of drivers and the introduction of the Graduated Drivers licensing System.