Barbadian drivers must be willing to give up their rights on the roads, if the country is to keep road fatalities at a minimum, says former president of the Barbados Road Safety Association Junior Jordan.
Speaking against the backdrop of seven road fatalities already this year, Jordan warned drivers that they could not afford to leave their fates to the judgement of others.
“There are some people when it comes road safety, they take a chance one day and get away and then they continue to take that chance. [Eventually], as they say, their luck runs out.
“We have to always remember that driving and safety is not a luck and chance affair. It is a specific way we think, so even though others around us make mistakes, once we adhere to the law and keep our vehicles under control, we can drive for the next 100,000 miles without a single incident,” the road safety advocate said during the question and answer session which followed his delivery of the Democratic Labour Party’s lunchtime lecture this afternoon at the party’s George Street headquarters.
Just Thursday night 59-year-old Vincent Leroy Alleyne of 3rd Ave, Harts Gap, Christ Church was struck by a car driven by 30-year-old Tyson Babb of Downes Gap, Arthur Seat, St Thomas, while attempting to cross the road after he disembarked a minibus.
He was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance where he later succumbed to his injuries.
His death brought the number of road fatalities this year to seven, just three shy of the total for all of 2016 when Barbados recorded the lowest number of road deaths in 30 years.
While careful not to speculate about the cause of the recent spate of vehicular tragedies, Jordan, who is also a member of Transport Authority board, stressed that drivers must always be willing to give up their rights in order to survive.
He said drivers must also be able to anticipant errors on the part of other motorists, and not take it for granted that others will operate within the parameters of the road traffic laws.
“I don’t know the reason behind the deaths because I have not done an analysis . . . but there are things that we can do as drivers when we see other drivers doing things shaky or doings things wrong, such as to stop and keep wide berth.
“The single most important element when it comes to driving any kind of vehicle is the human beings themselves and we have to always be prepared to take control of the vehicle not leaving anything for anybody to help us out on. So it doesn’t matter how pretty our vehicle is, our mindset, our biological makeup must be ready for the task at hand.”
While stating that one death on the roads was one too many, he pointed out that there were 140,000 vehicles in Barbados.
“[So], if 2,000 vehicles go through a particular space 2,000 different times we do not have a problem, but [if] two try to go through the same space at precisely the same time, you have a collision,” Jordan said.