Saturday, April 20, 2024

Call to cap speed limit at 60kph

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The Barbados Road Safety Association (BRSA) is once again campaigning for a “blanket speed” of 60 kilometres per hour (kph) throughout Barbados.Public relations officer Richard Cox said this was just one of a few things discussed at last Saturday’s meetings with committee members.Cox said it was felt that there was not one road in the island that merited the 80kph limit, since “there was  scarcely a road in Barbados that is a half-mile long that hasn’t got a junction, a corner or some type of obstruction”.“We feel that the 60kph blanket speed limit would reduce the average of 30 fatalities on the roads of Barbados each year,” he told the DAILY NATION.Cox said the association was also calling for cobblestones to be placed on the Spring Garden Highway “in the area where the last fatality occurred”.Just over a week ago, 68-year-old Errol Briggs, a Barbadian living in Toronto, lost his life when he was struck by a vehicle while crossing the Spring Garden Highway.Less than two weeks earlier, on June 27, Samantha St Martin also lost her life on the Spring Garden Highway in a car accident around 1:40 a.m.“The only way the danger on the Spring Garden Highway can be abated is if cobblestones are placed in the road to reduce the speed of the vehicles. We are proposing to have them placed 75 to 90 metres in length in the area where the last incident occurred. “It will help to work as a pedestrian crossing, since it will slow down the traffic. Signs that will say ‘reduce speed to 50kph’ should also be placed on both sides of the road, as done in France, Martinique, St Vincent and other countries, forcing motorists to slow down. After that, a ‘resume normal speed’ sign should be erected,” he suggested.Cox said the BRSA would soon address Minister of Transport and Works John Boyce on the items discussed at the meeting.But Boyce, in an interview with the newspaper a few days ago, said there “were plans to have a temporary lighted pedestrian crossing system on the Spring Garden Highway following the last fatality”.Boyce said this was something he had mandated his department to do with urgency after the latest road death on that stretch of road. The Spring Garden Highway has been a bone of contention for the last few years. In 2004, a letter from the Brighton Residents’ Association was published calling for increased traffic lights since, they said, Spring Garden was not a true highway but an urban road.In 2008, Coroner Faith Marshall-Harris recommended having either an underpass or an overpass built to facilitate access to Brandons Beach after a ruling on the death of a 15-year-old boy who was killed on his way back home from the beach in 2004.Cox said the association also looked forward to the day when those found by the courts to have caused the loss of life or a serious accident would be mandated to take a new driving test before being allowed to drive again.
(CT)

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