The Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) has called on Government to enact strict laws to deter persons from crossing the country’s roads at undesignated areas.
On Saturday night, Barbados registered its first road fatality for year when 79-year-old pedestrian Ione Gilkes who was struck by a car on the ABC Highway.
Reports circulating on social media allege that the woman was attempting to cross the Jersey barrier when she was hit, although her relatives have said they did not believe this to be true.
Still, BRSA President Sharmane Roland-Bowen said she was worried that other persons could be injured or killed attempting similar crossings.
And she called on Government to take steps to protect such people from themselves.
“We need to provide legislations that would deter persons from crossing those Jersey barriers because this is not the first time that this has happened and it can happen again unless we put our foot down and issue a law. Create a law that would send a strong message to those persons.
“Our laws are here to protect us, and we need to protect persons even if it means protecting them from themselves because at anytime when a pedestrian crosses at a place not designated for crossing, they are risking their lives,” the road safety advocate said.
Roland-Bowen said the BRSA has repeatedly warned road users against engaging in dangerous practices but these warnings were being ignored.
She told Barbados TODAY the time had come for more drastic measures.
“It has been said repeatedly and persons are not answering the call. We need to take a more drastic measure in implementing this law and making it an offense for persons to risk their lives and safety and also endangering the lives of other road users.”
Additionally, the BRSA president said the lighting conditions on the country’s highways needed to be improved significantly as they were contributing factors in some of the accidents.
“We need to get those lights fixed . . . . We are not condoning the lady crossing the road but if the lighting conditions were better probably the person that was driving that vehicle might have been able to make an evasive maneuver and [avoid] that lady. We also need to look at getting those lights that are not working fixed before something like that occurs again,” she added.