The introduction of breathalyser testing is still very much on the cards, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, Works and Water Resources Santia Bradshaw declared on Friday.
And while she stayed clear of giving a specific date, she hinted that it could be just a few months away.
Questions have repeatedly been asked about Government’s decision to delay the original April 1 implementation of the test that advocates contend can help reduce the number of road accidents.
Addressing the issue briefly on VOB’s Down to Brass Tacks call-in programme, Bradshaw stressed that while everything was in place to facilitate breathalyser testing, the Ministry put the plan on pause until arrangements have been finalised for new rates for taxi operators.
“We were ready to roll out the breathalyser, we had all of the training done, we signed off on all of the ads that needed to be done. Everybody was ready to roll it out but when I met with the taxi associations, . . . when we were talking about the new rates for the taxis in this country, one of the things that we recognised was that if we are going to say to people put down your vehicles, we have to give people an option in terms of knowing with certainty what it [taxi fare] is going to cost them.
“Just like when you travel you can go on Uber and you can determine what that price is to get from one point to another, we want to be in a position to have that ready as well,” Bradshaw explained.
She said those matters were being dealt with.
“I hope that within the next month or so we are in a position to roll that out and then shortly thereafter we will be in a position to introduce the breathalyser, so it is still very much on the cards,” the Transport Minister said.
The Barbados Road Safety Association has, however, argued that introducing new rates for taxi operators was not enough to delay breathalyser testing.
President Sharmane Rice-Bowen said it was critical that it be introduced ahead of the Crop Over Festival. (SD)