The local organization advocating for safe road use and conditions is taking its fight against potholes up a gear.
The Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) has launched a new website aimed at helping motorist affected by the potholes to seek compensation.
BRSA President Roland-Bowen is insisting it is wrong for taxpaying road users to also have to pay for damage to their vehicles from the craters in the roads.
She is pushing affected drivers to seek compensation from the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW).
“We want all persons that their vehicles are damaged to claim. It is not right for you to be using the road you having to pay tax for and then having to turn around and fix your vehicle for a problem that could be avoided or should not have been there in the first place. It is not right. This is a double whammy. So send in your claims,” Roland-Bowen insisted.
She contended that those who refuse to demand compensation from MTW were contributing to the poor state of the country’s roads through their complacency, reasoning that “if they had sent in their claims MTW would be paying out so much money” that that it would be forced to maintain the roads.
The road safety advocate appealed to motorists to visit the new website www.barbadosroadsafety.com where they can record the location, time and date of the incident; estimates from at least two mechanics; pictures of the pothole and the damage to the vehicle.
Advising motorists to keep a record of all the information, Roland-Bowen said the information gathered would be submitted to MTW.
The BRSA, which last week began erecting brightly coloured flags along sections of the roads in several communities to alert motorists of upcoming potholes, has defied an order by MTW to remove the flags.
Roland-Bowen said she was told that the move was “in contravention of a subsection law and the flags posed a hazard”.
Confident the public was behind the initiative, Roland-Bowen said while the association would not erect any more flags, it would not take down any of the nine already planted.
“If the authorities want the flags moved they are going to have to do it themselves because if we move it, it means that we have now become a part of the problem and not the solution,” she said.
“We don’t mind moving the flags but they should have the same type or a better type of warning in advance.”
Roland-Bowen said she was now even more concerned that the safety of individuals was in danger, especially along roads that were not adequately lit.
“If you are in the country and you get a flat you can’t stop there; especially females, they are more vulnerable . . . you are at the mercy of the unknown. Is that right?
“But if you saw this flag you would know that a pothole is coming up on your side of the road to be careful and drive and look for it, you know, slow down,” she added.