The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) says Government needs to shoulder some of the blame for the recent upsurge in deadly road accidents.
So far this year, 12 fatalities have been recorded – two more than the ten that occurred for all of last year.
While extending condolences to the family of 48-year old Anderson Joseph, who was struck and killed at Westmoreland, St James Sunday night to become the island’s latest road fatality, the BLP’s Shadow Minister of Transport Trevor Prescod said it was clear that the conditions on Barbados’ roads were becoming increasingly treacherous.
“To be specific, the poor lighting on our highways, our potholed roads and highways, non-functioning traffic lights, the broken edges of roadways, overhanging bush, and unpainted and lit road crossings among other things,” Prescod said.
“Those who travel on our roads and highways on a daily basis can attest to these problems, especially the lack of street lights in too many districts which make driving at night somewhat hazardous,” the BLP representative for St Michael East added.
He appealed for urgent action to stop the carnage on our streets, while warning that “one road death is too much, far less 12 in the first ten weeks for this year”.
“Will it take someone from a brand name family to die for this Government to be moved to action on this important issue? Does an average Barbadian life no longer matter?
“We know we will be accused of being political, but we’re not. The fact is, the breakdown of our road infrastructure has a human dimension. Just ask the loved ones of those horribly snatched away from them.
“These are not abstract matters to be treated as temporary inconveniences,” Prescod emphasized, in an apparent jab at Prime Minister Freundel Stuart who had earlier suggested that potholes were just that – temporary inconveniences.
While commending the Barbados Road Safety Association for its efforts to educate Barbadians on proper road habits, the BLP spokesman urged Barbadians – whether pedestrians, cyclists or drivers – to be extremely careful in their use of our roads and highways.