The Barbados Road Safety Association will have to wait a bit longer for the implementation of breathalyser testing.
On Friday, Attorney General Dale Marshall insisted that it was “vitally important” to strengthen the country’s public transport system before moving forward with the measure. He told reporters at Ilaro Court that the matter was no longer under his purview, but with the Ministry of Public Works.
“We are ready for it, we have all of the equipment for it, and there is training that has been done for it, but the government doesn’t take decisions in a vacuum,” Marshall told reporters on Friday.
“Everything is connected to something else and this is one of those instances where in our judgement, it is vitally important for us to make sure that all elements of the public transport system are working, because when people go out, they have to be able to get back home,” he added.
After numerous delays, breathalyser testing was supposed to be rolled out on April 1. But on that date, the Attorney General announced another delay because “some other matters” needed to be addressed.
“Specifically, I am speaking to the matter of metered taxi rates,” Marshall said at the time.
Since the most recent delay, BRSA president Sharmane Roland-Bowen accused authorities of failing to prioritise the protection of life.
“It seems to me as if they don’t care,” she said. “It seems as though the authorities don’t care how many people are injured on the road, how many accidents there are, or how many deaths occur on our roads.
“We have a weapon that could help to reduce the possibility of accidents happening on the road by deterring persons from getting behind the wheel drunk, but it has not been put to use,” the road safety advocate added.
But in his latest explanation, the Attorney General said authorities simply wanted to make sure things are “done right”.
“If we don’t make sure that those things are done right, what will happen is that people will try a thing and we don’t want them to have that opportunity. We don’t want them to have that excuse and therefore we are putting all of those measures in place,” he added.