Government’s sweeping amendments to the Road Traffic Act came in for praise from independent Senator Carol Lady Haynes in the Senate today.
However, Lady Haynes, a longstanding medical doctor and rights advocate, acknowledged some shortcomings in the bill while suggesting that it “would be a pity” if it were passed without some adjustments.
“I could not find anywhere in the Act where there was reference to motorbikes and all of us in the driving public must have shared the terror I have shared on so many occasions coming down the highway and seeing a line of young men coming at you,” the Senator said, adding that the issues related to motorcycles needed to be addressed with urgency.
“It is a major cause for significant interest to drivers and others using the highway and I make a plea that we consider that.”
Citing Canadian traffic regulations, the Senator said there was more rigorous testing of persons seeking motorcycle licences, including tests of situations for accident avoidance.
When it came to the introduction of breathalyzer testing, Lady Haynes acknowledged that the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners had examined the issue several years ago.
“I have absolutely no problem with people being tested for alcohol use. However, I think that we have to be very careful about the standardized breathalyzers to make sure that you go into this with full knowledge,” she added.
The medical doctor also lamented the lack of statistics on drunk driving in Barbados and its correlation to traffic accidents.
She said if statistics were readily available they would contribute to a more potent case for the breathalyzer tests.