A senior police officer has identified insufficient lay-bys on the country’s roads as one of the contributors to inconsiderate practices by Barbadian motorists.
Making reference to the prevalence of motorists stopping at pedestrian crossing to let off passengers, Acting Assistant Superintendent in the Royal Barbados Police Force’s Traffic Division Antonio Forde told Barbados TODAY while the practice was not illegal, it could be curtailed with the provision of more designated spaces for drivers to pull off the road.
Even at sections of the roadway controlled by traffic lights, drivers have found themselves having to brake suddenly because the vehicle in front of them opted to set down occupants at the pedestrian crossing, despite lights showing green to signal the free flow of vehicular traffic.
“When you really consider the other options, I am not sure if there are any better options than [setting down passengers] at the pedestrian crossing. Consider trying to stop along the highway to drop off some person, it does present some challenges. If you were to drop someone off by the [Bussa Roundabout] there is no shoulder there for persons to pull off,” Forde said.
The Acting Assistant Superintendent revealed that he had engaged the Ministry of Transport and Works [MTW] about this issue in the past with little success, but he did not intend to let it go.
“I have said this for sometime and I am planning to engage the Licensing Authority and MTW hopefully in the first quarter of this year to address some of the road traffic audits that we are looking at which creates some challenges. That is certainly one of them that we want to look at; the varying regulations that speaks to almost every roundabout differs as you go along.
“So an area like that does create some challenges because in that area there is no real lay-by to pull off. If the person was to be dropped off further down the street then yes there is an area you can pull off but right there at that particular roundabout there is none,” Forde contended.
In addition, the head of Operations Support told Barbados TODAY several of the roundabouts, including the Warren’s Roundabout, were posing serious challenges for law enforcement officials.
“Even in terms of the shape of it and the network of roads leading into it, it does create some significant challenges. Internally we have had a lot of discussions about it, there is not a lot we can do right now but that is one of the things we are looking at to have some dialogue with the MTW in relation to.
“We have had some discussions on it before, at the time it was being designed and there were some difference of opinions and since then we have seen the whole issue of accidents. We don’t necessarily want to say this is the cause of the accidents because one might argue that the accidents were caused by negligence, but we believe that with some other adjustment it could reduce some of the accidents,” he stressed.