President of the Barbados Road Safety Association, Sharmaine Roland-Bowen has a message for the Ministry of Transport and Works – potholes do not save lives, they take lives.
Roland-Bowen was speaking Saturday at the launch of a pothole identification initiative in Goodland Road, St Michael.
She highlighted that two weeks ago in Guyana, a family of five perished in an accident which occurred while trying to avoid a pothole.
The BRSA president urged the Government to take into consideration the financial losses, vehicle damage, possible accidents and deaths that could result from the numerous potholes that are scattered across the island.
“We should not be in this position. Our road authorities owe us, a duty of care that they have to us as citizens and as taxpayers to provide safe roads for us, well-maintained roads for us, safe roads for us so that we can manoeuvre freely and we can be mobile to do what we have to do,” Roland-Bowen said.
“We do not want a quick fix with persons rushing to fill a pothole which in a couple of weeks or maybe months will deteriorate and go back to the way it was before,” she added.
Roland-Bowen said motorists are racking up bills with replacing tires and also repairing damages to their cars but are reluctant to report it to authorities due to the long processing period.
She went on to reveal that the potholes in Goodland, St Michael were repaired earlier this year but after the continuous heavy rains, the road had deteriorated to its original state.
She criticized the authorities for filling the potholes only to placate frustrated residents and motorists.
“To come and fix potholes to the extent only to keep our mouths closed or only to satisfy persons for a short period of time and then you have to go back and the holes need repairing and you are falling in and damaging your vehicles …. This is not a temporary inconvenience because that temporary inconvenience costs up to $300 to $400 per tyre and other areas of the vehicle,” she argued.
The BRSA will be highlight potholes with an orange flag. The flags will be placed in the pothole to warn motorists to avoid the carters.
“We cannot as an association sit back and recognize that people can be killed by these potholes especially now at this time when they can’t see them because of the rain; and do nothing because each and every life on our roads need to be taken care of and looked out for,” she said.