A new “three strikes and you are out” rule and a minimum age of 25 for operators of public service vehicles (PSVs) are two news measures being introduced in a tough revised Road Traffic Act, which is in its final stage of preparation, Minister of Transport & Works Michael Lashley has revealed.
Lashley last night told a meeting of the St James South branch of the Democratic Labour Party that many of the transgressions that drivers get away with under the current law will be a thing of the past, as a number of new offences will be added to the legislation.
Among the changes, he said, will be the option to suspend the licences of PSV operators after three offences.
“The [new] Road Traffic Act has captured a number of offences that the current Act is silent on. We have some interesting things in here in relation to public service vehicles. One is, if you commit three consecutive offences, we have the right to withdraw your licence. We have a right to do that.
“The age of those driving public service vehicles will be looked at too. We will look to take it to age 25, but in the [current] Act there is an age limit,” he said.
The vexing issue of motorcyclists performing wheelies will be prohibited under the revised Act, Lashley revealed. So too will be the use of mobile phones while driving.
“The motorcycles doing stunts on the road, that is also within this legislation. Driving with cellphones will now be an offence. Going on the road with a motorcycle and engaging in stunts and so on, that will be completely outlawed. That will be an offence, although my view is under the present Act that it can be deemed as reckless driving without due care and attention. It also deals with speed limits in construction zones,” the minister added.
Lashley told party supporters when the revised law is approved, Barbadians will no longer be able to “buy a car and you can walk into a shop and once they have the machinery, they can prepare a plate for you and you are on the road”.
He said the Royal Barbados Police Force had been complaining about criminals who use vehicles with fictitious plates, therefore there is a proposed section of the Act that states, “no person [shall] manufacture licence plates unless they are registered with the licensing authority.”
In addition, he said, breathalyzer testing will become legal.