One of the country’s leading road safety advocates is counting on divine intervention to end the spate of fatal road accidents.
In the wake of the country’s ninth road death this year, President of the Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) Sharmane Roland-Bowen said the time had come to reverse the trend, but only God could help achieve this.
To this end the BRSA is hosting an interfaith national service on March 12 at the First Baptiste Church on Constitutional Road to offer supplication.
“All believers come out, come out and let us pray and take back our roads. It is not about religion, it is not about politics, it is about saving lives and asking prayers to intervene to get us back safety on our streets and to reduce the number of fatalities we are having . . . because what is happening is not right and we need to ask God to intervene,” Roland-Bowen said.
Barbados recorded its ninth road death Wednesday – one short of the total for all of last year – when 12-year-old Destiny Martina Thompson, of Vine Yard, St Philip was struck by a car at Boarded Hall, St George.
The Springer Memorial Secondary School student had reportedly come from behind a bus from which she had alighted and was attempting to cross the main road when she was hit by the vehicle driven 26-year-old Alicia Mayers of Wildey, St Michael. She died on the spot around 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, Roland-Bowen appealed to road users to be vigilant and advised passengers who disembark from public service vehicles to “please wait and let the buses go long”.
“Don’t ever cross in front or behind the buses because it is extremely dangerous. Drivers need to see you in order to avoid hitting you and when you do that you act as a blind stop.
“We also want to appeal to bus drivers, in some instances, to desist from calling passengers across the road because sometimes they do contribute to [this]. Their job is to transport people and not to direct traffic and we would like to see them desist from that,” the road safety advocate stressed.
She called on the authorities to organize education programmes on traffic safety, even suggesting that the subject be added to the school curriculum as part of social studies or life skills programmes.
She also to a jab at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for dropping her segment on road safety from its Mornin’ Barbados show.
While not mentioning CBC by name, she spoke of opportunities given to both the BRSA and the Royal Barbados Police Force to talk about road safety every week on television and on radio.
And she credited these programmes for a steep drop in the number of road fatalities last year.
“Because it was like that we managed to save 13 lives as opposed to the previous year when it was 23. Last year there were ten because we were drilling it and drilling it in people’s ears and that was put to an end on January 5th,” she complained.